Mel Kiper Jr. shifts in new mock draft, has Broncos taking a QB

Feb 28, 2024, 11:52 AM

Perhaps the most well-known mock draft maker in the country, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has changed his Round 1 pick for the Denver Broncos.

Kiper had the team selecting UCLA pass-rusher Laiatu Latu in his first version that dropped back in January. Now, in the 2.0 edition of his mock draft, he’s shifted to the most popular position the Broncos need. And that, of course, is quarterback.

Kiper is now on the J.J. McCarthy to Denver train, a popular selection in mock drafts from various national sites across the Internet.

“I’m following my co-workers and slotting in a quarterback to the Broncos. Why? This might be their only chance to add a high-ceiling signal-caller prospect this offseason — and not mortgage their future to do it,” Kiper wrote.

It makes sense, especially with the growing momentum the Broncos will release Russell Wilson in the next week or two. At the NFL Combine on Tuesday, head coach Sean Payton slipped up and spoke about Denver’s “next” quarterback.

As for McCarthy, Broncos GM George Paton said the team would meet with him on Tuesday night in Indianapolis. He’s firmly on their radar.

McCarthy completed 72.3 percent of his passes for Michigan in 2023, leading them to a perfect 15-0 record and sitting on top of the college football world as national champions. McCarthy threw for 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions on the season. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 197 pounds.

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

“(McCarthy) wasn’t asked to carry the Wolverines with his arm the past two seasons, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t do it. Sure, McCarthy needs some refinement, but Sean Payton could get the best out of him in Denver,” Kiper wrote.

And while some think the Broncos might have to trade up to land McCarthy, that’s not the case here for Kiper. He has Denver staying at No. 12 and being able to select the Michigan quarterback.

Full the version of his second mock draft this year, click here.

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