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Sean Payton hints the Denver Broncos could make a big move in the 2024 NFL Draft

Zac Stevens Avatar
March 25, 2024

ORLANDO — As of Monday, Mar. 25, Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci are the only two quarterbacks on the Denver Broncos’ roster.

As of Monday, Mar. 25, angst remains in Broncos Country about the uncertainty of the Broncos’ quarterback situation.

But there is time, Broncos Country. Take a deep breath.

“I would rather the angst be now than September and October,” Sean Payton told the media calmly on Monday morning at the NFL Annual League Meetings in Orlando, when asked about the angst in Broncos Country surrounding the uncertainty of the team’s quarterback situation.

Another year, another quarterback search for the Broncos. But, for the first time, this quarterback search is led by offensive guru Sean Payton.

And while Stidham will compete for the team’s starting quarterback job come the fall, there will be others competing for the job too.

“He’s definitely competing to be the starter. I don’t think we have a term drivers seat, really. But he is going to compete for that position,” the head coach said, when asked if Stidham is in the drivers seat to be the team’s starting signal caller. “We still feel really positive about [Stidham].”

“I’m sure there’ll be other candidates that will be competing with him,” Payton added.

The Broncos are open to all avenues when adding quarterbacks to the roster too.

“I think the draft is one element and we’re kind of in that phase now and yet there’s still a few possibilities relative to the guys that are currently in this league or have played in this league,” Payton added.

“We’ve got a pretty good plan, plus we understand what we’re doing and we’re going to be smart about it.”

A large part of that plan will revolve around the draft, where the Broncos will begin their final draft board meetings at the beginning of April.

Currently, Denver sits with the 12th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. But on Monday, Payton teased that could change.

“I think that’s realistic. I think it’s realistic,” Payton said, when asked how realistic it is the Broncos trade up in the first round. “What’s hard to predict, though, is what’s on the receiving end. I think it’s good to be [Cardinals general manager] Monti [Ossenfort] today at Arizona. So it’s hard to predict what that cost is and, yet, I certainly wouldn’t say it’s unrealistic. We’ll pay close attention to it.”

With three quarterbacks expected to go in the first three picks of the draft, Payton identified the No. 4 pick held by the Cardinals as the one that could be up for sale.

When asked about the draft class, Payton stated he wasn’t going to discuss any individual players.

Yet, later, he went out of his way to admit the Broncos had a private meeting with Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy.

“I wasn’t at J.J.’s Pro Day, but we had a private the next day here we sent him a bunch of information, spent four or five hours with him just made him throw all over again,” Payton admitted.

Connecting the dots from Payton’s comments on Monday would lead to believing the Broncos could trade up to draft the Michigan man. Payton added the quarterbacks in the draft are a “good group.”

“It’s decision making, accuracy, football, the ability to improvise, you know we don’t always get to play in a clean pocket,” Payton said, on the traits he evaluates in a young quarterback. “Those are just some of the things that we’ll look closely at and kind of make our own decisions.”

The good news for the Broncos is it’s just March. The bad news is the Broncos are once again looking for a quarterback.

But Sean Payton isn’t worried. There are moves to come.


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