Latest ESPN mock draft has Broncos taking national champion QB

Jan 10, 2024, 11:55 AM | Updated: Feb 8, 2024, 11:58 am

Every mock draft over the next 2.5 months will be something Denver Broncos fans want to take a look at.

Not since 2021 has the team had a first-round pick. That alone makes it exciting.

But considering the franchise is likely to move on from QB Russell Wilson and potentially select a Round 1 quarterback for the first time since Paxton Lynch makes it all that more interesting.

ESPN’s Jordan Reid dropped his latest mock draft on Wednesday, and does have the Broncos picking a QB. In fact, it’s the guy who just won the national championship in Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

“The Broncos might sign an experienced veteran, but McCarthy has some traits we’ve seen Payton gravitate toward in the past: The Wolverines star is an instinctive and accurate passer who makes plays to win games. He has really good ball placement, hitting 72.3% of his throws this season,” Reid writes in his piece.

A QB Payton wants is going to be key. Wilson threw a lot of touchdowns this season, 26 in just 15 games, but he and Payton never meshed. The meltdown on the sidelines where Payton screamed at Wilson seemed to be the final straw.

McCarthy was simply pedestrian in the national title game, completing 10-18 passes for 140 yards and zero touchdowns. He didn’t throw an interception, but the ground game carried the Wolverines with four total touchdowns.

On the season, McCarthy threw for nearly 3,000 yards to go along with 22 TDs and just four picks. Michigan finished a perfect 15-0.

Who are the Broncos taking at No. 12? Get all the latest mock drafts here!

It’s interesting to see Reid have four quarterbacks go Round 1, with three in the top-3 and then McCarthy at No. 12 to Denver. He doesn’t see Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. or Oregon’s Bo Nix as first-round talents right now.

We’ll see how it all shakes out come the end of April, but buckle up, because this the latest of hundreds of mock drafts that will drop between now and then.


Broncos QB Bo Nix...

Andrew Mason

Bo Nix described by teammates as ‘really mature’ and having ‘an aura about himself’

The maturity of Broncos first-round pick Bo Nix has jumped out to veteran teammates like Courtland Sutton and Zach Allen.

2 hours ago

Sean Payton...

Jake Shapiro

Sean Payton dunks on Colts after his famous play is outlawed

Sean Payton called an onside kick in the Super Bowl, an exciting play and a decision that sticks as a famous one for the Broncos coach

7 hours ago

Peyton Manning Tom Brady...

Will Petersen

Peyton Manning surprised Tom Brady at his Patriots HOF induction

Tom Brady definitely didn't know Peyton Manning was going to be there, and there's a great moment when Mike Tirico brought out No. 18

9 hours ago

Andre Smith...

Andrew Mason

Broncos add a seven-year veteran to their inside linebacker corps

One day after concluding minicamp, the Broncos chose to add to their ILB room, bringing in Andre Smith, who was most recently with the Falcons.

10 hours ago

Jarrett Stidham and Bo Nix Broncos QB...

Andrew Mason

Jarrett Stidham will gather Broncos QBs, WRs, RBs and TEs for extra work

In the tradition of recent Denver Broncos QBs, Jarrett Stidham will gather teammates for throwing sessions during the offseason downtime.

16 hours ago

Broncos WR Courtland Sutton...

Will Petersen

Payton responds to Sutton potentially not being at training camp

Sean Payton knows Courtland Sutton is important, especially when Denver has a rookie QB in Bo Nix, and needs all the weapons he can get

1 day ago

Latest ESPN mock draft has Broncos taking national champion QB