BRONCOS

Pro Football Focus ranks Broncos starting QB situation dead last

May 26, 2024, 11:36 PM | Updated: 11:36 pm

There is understandable optimism about the Broncos QB situation in Denver circles. Their offensive-minded coach — who also calls plays and designs the system — selected a quarterback in Bo Nix to fit what he wants to accomplish schematically.

The Broncos have alignment with the QB, coach, general manager and ownership. It’s been quite a while — all the way back to Super Bowl 50, and arguably even a year or two before that — since such an assertion could be made.

But that doesn’t mean people outside of Denver are in love with what the Broncos QB room looks like. That includes Pro Football Focus, which ranks the team dead last when it comes to starting quarterbacks.

Writes Trevor Sikkema for PFF:

Nix, after being selected No. 12 overall, will be the Broncos’ starter at some point, but that point might not be immediate.

Stidham just hasn’t been good to this point in his NFL career. He has one season where he earned a passing grade above 56.0, and his NFL resume includes just two big-time throws to eight turnover-worthy plays. Nix’s experience and efficiency at Oregon could help him break through quickly, though his adjustment from the Ducks’ offense to NFL situations could be a challenge.

No mention was made of Zach Wilson, who handled first-team repetitions for one of the first three days of OTAs last week as Sean Payton rotates through Broncos QBs during offseason work.

Certainly, when it comes to known commodities, it would be fair to rank Stidham at or near the bottom of the NFL. He has just four starts to his name, and since compiling a 79.2 ESPN QBR for his maiden starting voyage for the Las Vegas Raiders against San Francisco on Jan. 1, 2023, his three subsequent starts have been nearly identical: 31.1 vs. Kansas City six days later, 31.8 in his first Broncos start on Dec. 31, 2023 against the Los Angeles Chargers and 30.3 in Las Vegas for the 2023 season finale.

Nix is unproven, but a lack of previous starting experience didn’t stop PFF from ranking Chicago and No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams at No. 19, ahead of 13 teams, including Tampa Bay — whose starter, Baker Mayfield, guided the Bucs to a playoff win in January and also led Cleveland to its only postseason win since January 1995 — and Pittsburgh, with Russell Wilson, checking in at No. 22.

In PFF’s eyes, the Broncos have nowhere to go but up. But the analytics-based outlet doesn’t seem confident they have the horses to climb the QB mountain.

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