The Denver Broncos would love to land a top quarterback in the 2024 NFL draft, every QB-needy team would.
But the Broncos won’t pick until 12th overall, and the top three QBs in this year’s class are expected to go off the board right at the top of the draft. So if Denver wants to land a top QB, the team will need to trade up.
The Broncos have first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft, but that wouldn’t be enough for a top-three pick in April. Denver can also trade future picks, but any team negotiating with the Broncos will likely ask for cornerback Pat Surtain.
That doesn’t mean Denver has to entertain the possibility of trading Surtain, but if the Broncos attempt to trade up for a top pick, PS2 will be one of the team’s most valuable trade assets, and teams will want him included.
So, what would it take to move from No. 12 overall to No. 1 overall? ESPN’s Bill Barnwell recently projected potential trades for teams who could move up for a QB. This is what he estimated for Denver: Surtain, pick No. 12 and 2025 second- and third-round picks.
No fans want the Broncos to part with Surtain, who is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. But if coach Sean Payton is convinced his favorite QB in this year’s class can turn the franchise around, a potential trade will involve tough decisions.
Giving up first-, second- and third-round picks plus Surtain would be worth it if the QB turns out to be a star who leads the team to postseason glory. Nothing is certain in the NFL draft, though, and for every franchise QB there are often multiple busts in almost every class.
Trading Surtain in order to draft a top QB prospect would be a big risk. But Denver has missed the playoffs in eight straight seasons following Peyton Manning’s retirement and Payton will want to get the team back on track quickly. The fastest way to turn a team around is securing the right QB.
If Sean Payton is convinced that QB1 in the NFL draft is the perfect franchise QB for his offense but a trade had to involve Pat Surtain, would you be OK with losing PS2 for QB1?
— Jon Heath (@ByJonHeath) February 6, 2024
An ideal scenario would be keeping PS2 and landing a top QB in April. That might not be a realistic scenario, though. If it’s an either-or situation, the Broncos might have to make a tough decision and part with their star cornerback in hopes of finally landing a star quarterback.