ESPN’s latest mock draft has Broncos trading to No. 4 overall

Mar 27, 2024, 10:56 AM

The Denver Broncos are making a big trade in ESPN’s latest mock draft.

Two days after head coach Sean Payton said it’s “realistic” for the team to move up in next month’s NFL Draft, ESPN’s Matt Miller is projecting that as a reality.

Miller has the Broncos trading with the Arizona Cardinals to get from the No. 12 overall pick to No. 4 overall. He sees Caleb Williams going first to the Bears, Jayden Daniels second to the Commanders and Drake Maye third to the Vikings. Miller predicts Minnesota and New England will do a deal, leaving the Broncos to negotiate with the Cardinals.

And who would Denver ultimately land? None other than national champion QB J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan.

“With quarterbacks going 1-2-3 to start the draft, I could see the Broncos getting on the phone and sending a package to Arizona for the No. 4 pick to get QB4. I think it would take something in the realm of pick No. 12, a 2025 first-rounder and a 2026 first-rounder. The deal is molded like the deal the 49ers made in 2021 to move up for Trey Lance, and yes, it’s an expensive trade package,” Miller writes.

It’s expensive indeed, particularly because the Broncos gave up two first-round picks in the failed Russell Wilson trade and another to pry Payton away from the Saints. Still, if you love a quarterback, that’s the price to move up.

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 champions. He threw for 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions on the season. McCarthy is listed at 6-foot-3 and 197 pounds.

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

The stock of McCarthy has been rising more and more since the NFL Combine. Many thought the Broncos could land him at No. 12 — even just last month. But now the consensus seems to be he’s a top-5 QB, and it would take a trade to get him.

To read Miller’s full seven-round mock draft, including other picks for the Broncos, click here.


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