The Broncos’ first round of interviews is complete.

In less than two weeks after the conclusion of the forgettable season, Greg Penner, Condoleezza Rice and George Paton interviewed eight different candidates to become Denver’s next head coach.

Now, the group will reset and decide whether to make an offer or move to a second round of interviews.

With the process quickly ramping up, who will land the prestigious job in Denver?

The DNVR Broncos Crew gives their final take.

All odds below are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Who will be the Broncos’ next head coach?

Zac: Sean Payton — All signs, specifically over the past week, point to Denver becoming Payton’s place. In fact, the growing sentiment around the country is that the Broncos are Payton’s No. 1 choice.

With Jim Harbaugh out of the running, Payton should be Denver’s No. 1 choice as well. With Payton looking for a salary north of $20 million per year and the Broncos having the wealthiest owners in the NFL, there shouldn’t be anything standing in the way of the former Super Bowl champion becoming Denver’s next head coach.

With that being said, the biggest hurdle could be trading with the Saints for Payton’s services. However, it’s been reported the Broncos know what the Saints asking price is and would be willing to pay it.

No coach would be better to help turn around Russell Wilson’s career and jumpstart the Broncos’ offense than Sean Payton.

RK: Sean Payton — As of right now, DraftKings has this in a dead heat. +175 for Payton, +175 for Dan Quinn.

Obviously, the fact that they would have to trade for Payton makes this a little more complicated but I have a very hard time envisioning a world where the Broncos make a hire that doesn’t fire up the fanbase. Obviously, DQ is not that guy.

When all is said and done, this ownership group is going to make a splash and hire the biggest name of the cycle.

Hank: Sean Payton — The buzz seems to be pointing toward Sean Payton taking over the Denver Broncos.

If you don’t trust me, take DraftKings Sportsbook’s word for it; as of Friday, Sean Payton is +175 to wind up with the job, which is tied with Dan Quinn for the best odds.

Payton to Denver makes sense. Sean Payton is easily the top coach on the market this offseason and his top priority is finding ownership he trusts. The Broncos’ owners will be more than willing to make Payton one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL and will give him the budget he needs to build a top-tier staff.

The Russell Wilson situation could give Payton pause, but his other options have flaws of their own. The Cardinals have spent the past nine months in chaos and will be without their quarterback for most of next season. The Texans haven’t won more than four games in any of the past three seasons. The Panthers are in the same division as the Saints, which could be a complicating factor.

Nothing is set in stone, but if Payton wants to return to the NFL this season, then the Broncos seem to be his best option And it’s tough to imagine the Broncos turning him down.

Picks Picks Picks

Jaguars @ Chiefs (-8.5)

Zac: Chiefs.

RK: Chiefs.

Hank: Chiefs.

Giants @ Eagles (-7.5)

Zac: Eagles.

RK: Eagles.

Hank: Eagles.

Bengals @ Bills (-5.5)

Zac: Bengals.

RK: Bengals.

Hank: Bengals.

Cowboys @ 49ers (-4)

Zac: Cowboys

RK: Niners.

Hank: 49ers.


Last week

RK: 3-3

Zac: 2-4

Hank: 4-2


Zac: 101-94-2

RK: 94-100-2

Hank: 86-109-2


Zac Stevens was born and raised in Denver, went to the University of Denver and now covers the Denver Broncos. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from DU in 2014, Zac worked for the Cleveland Browns as a remote scout. He then jumped straight into the journalism industry at the beginning of 2016 covering the reigning world-champion Broncos and joined DNVR soon after. Catch him on Twitter @ZacStevensDNVR and daily on the DNVR Broncos podcast as the co-host.