BRONCOS

NFL.com analyst: If Broncos traded down, Rams were poised to take Bo Nix

May 2, 2024, 1:42 AM

There was a common notion regarding Bo Nix that the Denver Broncos could have traded down and still selected the Oregon quarterback at some point later while accumulating further draft capital.

But according to NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter, that wasn’t doable.

“No,” Reuter said when he joined DenverSports.com’s Orange and Blue Today this week for a debriefing on the Broncos’ draft class.

And the reason? The Los Angeles Rams were keen on Bo Nix, too.

“A lot of people like, ‘Oh, yeah, they can trade back to 22 with Philadelphia.’ No,” Reuter explained.

“The Rams were taking Nix at 19. Absolutely, if he was available.”

NO MESSING AROUND FOR BRONCOS WITH BO NIX

The Rams’ interest in Bo Nix illuminates the Broncos’ decision to stand pat at No. 12 and take Nix, adding another layer to a cake of cascading decisions baked when the Atlanta Falcons took Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. with the No. 8 overall pick, followed by the Minnesota Vikings trading up one slot to select Michigan passer J.J. McCarthy.

To be certain, the Broncos rolled the dice that no one would try and jump them to move into the No. 11 spot, But the Jets stayed there after making their trade with the Vikings and selected Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu.

When Denver’s turn arrived last week, there was no messing around.

“We could have moved a couple of picks back & maybe got some picks, but at the end of the day, this was our guy,” Broncos general manager George Paton said last week.

“Let’s just take him. Let’s not overthink it. We would have been sick if we lost him just for a couple of fifth-round picks or what have you.”

And of course, there is a quarterback premium. Which is why even though it’s highly debatable that six of the 12 best prospects in the draft were quarterbacks, it was ultimately defensible that the passers went as they did.

“Teams don’t move down and pick a quarterback. It doesn’t happen. It’s very rare that it happens,” said Reuter, a long-time draft analyst who has contributed to NFL.com for over a dozen years with his voluminous three-round mock drafts and prospect analysis.

“They’re moving up to get a quarterback or they stay put.

“… (Trading down for a first-round quarterback) doesn’t happen and it wasn’t going to happen. If you believe in him, you take him. You don’t screw around.”

And as Sean Payton mentioned, the Broncos like the way Nix fits in what they want to accomplish.

“They’re in a position where they had to have a quarterback,” Reuter said. “He might not be plus in a lot of categories like arm strength and height and all those physical characteristics, but he’s plus as a competitor, he’s plus in experience and sometimes that works out.”

Payton, Paton and the Broncos are about to find out.

But if they had traded down from No. 12, they would not have had the chance.

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NFL.com analyst: If Broncos traded down, Rams were poised to take Bo Nix