2024 NFL Draft Grades: Denver Broncos

The 2024 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror, and we have compiled a consensus ranking using NFL draft grades from a variety of sites.

What draft grades have the media given to the Denver Broncos? What are they saying about the Broncos' 2024 draft haul?

NFL.com - Grade: B-

Day 1 grade: C
Day 2 grade: B
Day 3 grade: A

Analysis: Time will tell whether Nix will be a top-notch starting NFL quarterback or viewed as a reach by a team in desperate need of talent under center. Time will also tell whether the 2023 first- and 2024 second-rounders the Broncos sent the Saints to acquire coach Sean Payton (along with a 2024 third-round pick) will lead to a championship in Denver.

Elliss isn't a fantastic athlete but was productive at a need position for Utah, where he played for his father, former NFL lineman Luther Elliss. Denver traded up early in Round 4 to unite Franklin with Nix; the former is not the toughest receiver, but he can make defenders miss after the catch. The Broncos then found value at corner in wiry competitor Abrams-Draine before grabbing a power back in Estimé.

ESPN - Grade: C+

Top needs entering the draft: Quarterback, cornerback, edge defender

A year after picking just three times in the top five rounds, the Broncos were without their Round 2 pick in this draft. I never felt confident they'd take a quarterback at No. 12; they had too many roster questions to reach for a passer, too many holes to fill. Right? I thought they'd either take the best available cornerback there or trade down to build up their capital. If they really wanted to add a passer to compete with Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson, they could have landed one later in Round 1.

And I was wrong. Coach Sean Payton & Co. saw the run on quarterbacks -- five in the top 10 -- and stood pat, selecting Bo Nix (12). I wrote at length about the move on Thursday, but to sum it up: That's way too high for Nix, who put up massive numbers at Oregon but played in an offense in which he wasn't asked to go through read progressions. There's a ton of risk here. No one will remember that this pick was questioned if Nix becomes an immediate star, but Payton's Denver tenure is now tied to a passer with question marks.

Now, I did like the Broncos' pick of Troy Franklin (102), who was Nix's top pass-catcher at Oregon. I thought he'd go in Round 2, and instead they were able to get him on Day 3. Franklin and Nix's connection already is strong, as they combined for 1,383 yards and 14 scores a year ago. Denver had to give up Nos. 121, 136 and 207 for Nos. 102 and 235, though. Kris Abrams-Draine (145) is a high-risk, high-reward cornerback who can make a big play but also get beat deep. Edge rusher Jonah Elliss (76) had 12 sacks last season but is undersized at 6-2, 248 pounds. Audric Estime's (147) stock dropped after he ran a 4.71-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but his tape doesn't lie -- I think he can be a good running back at the next level.

As I said, Payton's future is aligned with the sixth-best signal-caller in this draft, and we know there's not a great history of six QBs being stellar in one draft class. Likely half of those guys will end up having mediocre careers. For Payton's sake, he better hope it's not his guy or he won't last long with the Broncos.

MORE: Denver Broncos 2024 NFL Draft Roundup


Denver Broncos Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

Throughout the year and leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft, we will update our Denver Broncos Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Denver Broncos from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Denver Broncos:

ESPN - Mel Kiper (2/28)

12. J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

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. They're almost certainly going to cut Russell Wilson, leaving a void on the depth chart. They don't have the cap space to try to add a veteran. Moving up from No. 12 might require a future first-rounder that would hamper them down the road. So why not take a shot on McCarthy?

Look, this would be a reach by my rankings, but I could see why a team in the top 15 would talk itself into McCarthy. He has an intriguing skill set as a passer. He will test extremely well during combine workouts and impress coaches and front office execs in interviews. He 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.

The Athletic - CFB Writers (2/27)

12. Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

This is a new rule in the NFL Draft: Anytime you give up 70 points, your ensuing first-round pick the following spring has to be a defensive player. And in Turner, the Broncos get a threat to get home to the quarterback; he leaves Alabama with 22.5 sacks in three years. Denver needs another alpha on that side of the ball alongside fellow Crimson Tide alum Patrick Surtain II. — Kamrani

MORE: Continue reading our 2024 Denver Broncos Mock Draft Roundup


2023 NFL Power Rankings: Denver Broncos

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 18 roundup for the Denver Broncos in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

Biggest offseason contract to watch: QB Russell Wilson

This not only is the biggest for the Broncos but also is likely the biggest contract situation in the league. Coach Sean Payton benched Wilson last week -- he said he wanted to find a "spark" for the offense -- and Jarrett Stidham is starting instead. It all means, with a monumental $85 million dead money hit over two years, the Broncos will have a major decision to make about what the long-term plan will be at quarterback. Payton said no decision has been made on whether they will release Wilson, but the Broncos are already projected over the cap next season -- by about $20 million -- and have just six draft picks in April, including only two in the first two days of the draft. -- Jeff Legwold

NFL.com -- Rank: 22

Denver resurrected itself after a 1-5 start to the season that included a 50-point drubbing -- but winning six of seven games (including five straight) apparently just delayed the inevitable. Eventually, it seems the arranged marriage between Sean Payton and Russell Wilson is likely to come to an end in some form or another, and it might not be the cleanest divorce in history. It will be interesting to see how much of a chance Jarrett Stidham gets as the starter next season. Playing a lower-salaried starting QB would have its obvious appeals, and Payton could opt to pair Stidham with a promising rookie as a way of potentially offsetting Wilson's imminent dead-money salary-cap hit, should Wilson be cut. Stidham was fine Sunday in his first start with the team, but that one game alone did little to suggest he's the no-questions-asked favorite to be QB1 in 2024. There's still a lot to sort out -- and with Payton running the show, things are seldom bland.

Continue reading Denver Broncos NFL Power Rankings Roundup


2023 NFL Predictions: AFC West

Before the start of the season, we will post NFL division-by-division predictions for the 2023 NFL regular season and postseason.

Instead of projecting an outright winner and loser in all 272 regular-season games, we've assigned a win probability to each team in every game and totaled them up.

The four AFC West teams are projected to win the fourth-most games combined as a division in our 2023 full-season projections.

See where the Broncos stand in our 2023 AFC West Predictions


2023 Fantasy Football Projections: Denver Broncos

Our Fantasy Football Projections will be viewable by both position and team.

Below you will find our 2023 fantasy football projections for the Denver Broncos.

MORE: Fantasy football projections for more NFL teams

QUARTERBACKS

PlayerAtt.Comp.YardsTDINTRushYardsTDPoints
Russell Wilson530.5334.23952.223.3411.94552531.93264.45
Jarrett Stidham33.920.8240.71.531.195.619.60.1716.35

Russell Wilson: Wilson's debut season with the Broncos was a flop. He set career lows in completion percentage (60.5%), TDs/TD% (16, 3.3%) and passer rating (84.4). From Weeks 1 to 13, Wilson had only one top-12 weekly performance (Week 4), but he exceeded 24 fantasy points in three of his final four games in 2022. Transitioning to Sean Payton's offense improves optimism about Wilson's 2023 outlook (just ask Payton himself), but he is better drafted as a fantasy QB2.

MORE: Continue reading our 2023 Fantasy Football Projections: Denver Broncos


Denver Broncos: 2023 NFL Schedule

Below you will find the weekly NFL regular-season schedule for the Denver Broncos in 2023.

MORE: 2023 NFL Strength of Schedule

WeekDateOpponentResults
Week 1Sun., Sep. 10vs. Las Vegas RaidersL 17-16
Week 2Sun., Sep. 17vs. Washington CommandersL 35-33
Week 3Sun., Sep. 24at Miami DolphinsL 70-20
Week 4Sun., Oct. 1at Chicago BearsW 31-28
Week 5Sun., Oct. 8vs. New York JetsL 31-21
Week 6Thu., Oct. 12at Kansas City ChiefsL 19-8
Week 7Sun., Oct. 22vs. Green Bay PackersW 19-17
Week 8Sun., Oct. 29vs. Kansas City ChiefsW 24-9
Week 9BYE
Week 10Mon., Nov. 13at Buffalo BillsW 24-22
Week 11Sun., Nov. 19vs. Minnesota VikingsW 21-20
Week 12Sun., Nov. 26vs. Cleveland BrownsW 29-12
Week 13Sun., Dec. 3at Houston TexansL 22-17
Week 14Sun., Dec. 10at Los Angeles ChargersW 24-7
Week 15Sat., Dec. 16at Detroit LionsL 42-17
Week 16Sun., Dec. 24vs. New England PatriotsL 26-23
Week 17Sun., Dec. 31vs. Los Angeles ChargersW 16-9
Week 18Sun., Jan. 7at Las Vegas RaidersL 27-14

MORE: Denver Broncos historical W-L records - Denver Broncos historical head-to-head records

Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule (SOS)

How easy or difficult is the fantasy football schedule for Denver Broncos players?

Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule by position:


Denver Broncos - 2024 Draft Results

The table below are all of the 2024 NFL Draft picks selected by the Denver Broncos.

RoundOverallPlayerPositionSchool
112Bo NixQBOregon
376Jonah EllissEDGEUtah
4102Troy FranklinWROregon
5145Kris Abrams-DraineCBMissouri
5147Audric EstimeRBNotre Dame
7235Devaughn VeleWRUtah
7256Nick GargiuloCSouth Carolina

More: 2024 NFL Draft Results - Denver Broncos Draft History

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