Which QB would Broncos trade up to get?

The Broncos invested two first-round picks, multiple players, and many millions in the failed Russell Wilson experiment. Will they make another investment in a rookie quarterback?

As noted recently, G.M. George Paton's comments about possibly trading up for a quarterback in the 2024 draft strongly suggests that they'll try to go get a guy they "love." So who might they love?

One name to watch is Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy. With so much recent focus on the question of Jayden Daniels versus Drake Maye in D.C., McCarthy has slipped through the cracks, a bit.

The Broncos would have to move up from No. 12, possibly to No. 3, to get McCarthy. (They might be able to get him at No. 4 or No. 5.) And they might have to box out the Vikings, who could be trying to make a similar move.

We also recently noted the fact that Broncos coach Sean Payton quietly coveted Patrick Mahomes seven years ago. Just before the Saints were on the clock at No. 11, the Chiefs traded up with the Bills to No. 10 and snatched Mahomes.

Will that bad memory be enough to get Payton to overpay now? Anyone who has ever missed out on a big purchase (car or house) tends to become determined not to let it happen again. The reality, of course, is that McCarthy (or whoever Payton might want) won't be another Mahomes.

If Denver doesn't move up for someone like McCarthy, the Broncos could trade down for Oregon quarterback Bo Nix — or trade back into the bottom of round one. Nix's age (24) could make it easier for Payton to embrace working with a rookie, something he hasn't really done since he arrived in Dallas 21 years ago and the Cowboys signed an undrafted free agent named Tony Romo.