BRONCOS

Drake Maye to the Broncos? One mock draft suggests this could happen

Feb 12, 2024, 4:54 PM

Drake Maye would appear to be out of the Denver Broncos’ draft reach.

Widely expected to go off the board within the first three choices of the NFL Draft, the North Carolina quarterback sits in a range where an audacious trade up the board could be too rich for the Broncos’ blood. But Pro Football Focus thinks that the Broncos will be willing to make a deal, mocking a Denver trade up to the No. 2 overall slot to select Drake Maye.

PFF suggests the Broncos would offer this trade:

  • 2024 first-round pick (No. 12 overall)
  • 2025 first-round pick
  • 2025 second-round pick
  • 2026 first-round pick

Those terms are the similar to the details involving a 2021 trade up by the 49ers from the No. 12 slot to the No. 3 pick to take North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. In that deal, the 49ers sent a third-round pick to Miami instead of the second-rounder proposed in the mock deal.

Of course, that mock-draft trade doesn’t involve Pat Surtain II. And while trading Surtain might ensure that the Broncos don’t have to sacrifice as much draft capital, it would also rob the Broncos of their best player — who also happens to play one of the core positions around which a team builds its roster.

The skill set of Drake Maye — which includes ample throwing power, intermediate-range accuracy and mobility — appears to be an ideal fit for a Sean Payton offense.

But a relevant question with Maye — or USC’s Caleb Williams and LSU’s Jayden Daniels — is whether the Broncos would be destroying their ability to upgrade other areas of the roster if they make such a deal up the draft board. And that’s why most of the pre-draft chatter regarding the Broncos and the quarterback position centers around the idea of picking passers such as Oregon’s Bo Nix and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, both of whom have a greater chance of being available at No. 12 — or within range of a reasonable trade up the board.

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Drake Maye to the Broncos? One mock draft suggests this could happen