There may be more drama right now for the Denver Broncos than an episode of Basketball Wives. Head coach Sean Payton benched Russell Wilson at the end of the season even though he had 28 touchdowns to just eight interceptions and a passer rating of 98.0. The idea was Payton would look to pay Wilson to play anywhere but Denver in 2024. Then Russ said he wanted to stay in Denver.
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That makes quarterback an immediate need in the 2024 NFL Draft to start with. Then we have to factor in that linebacker Josey Jewell and center Lloyd Cushenberry are free agents. Lastly, the team is $24 million over the cap. Not only can they not fill needs in free agency, they will need to cut some players to get under the cap, creating more holes (Tim Patrick, Justin Simmons, and Garrett Bolles could be among the cap casualties).
According to Pro Football Focus, the Broncos will have seven picks in the upcoming draft. Since these mock drafts do NOT include trades, the Broncos will select at No. 12, 76, 113, 121, 149, 233, 240.
Round 1, Pick 12: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
All signs point to Russell Wilson being shown the door (along with backup Jarrett Stidham), so the Broncos will let Sean Payton pick the quarterback he wants. In this mock draft, Washington signal-caller Michael Penix Jr is the best option left on the board. There will be some answers coming over the next few months about his medicals, but since he was healthy the last two seasons, we’ll assume he passes.
Over the last two seasons for the Huskies, Penix has completed over 65% of his passes for 9,544 yards to go with 67 touchdowns to just 19 interceptions. He finished his college career with a career passer rating of 146.6. He’s 6’2 and 212 pounds and runs a 4.60 second forty.
Penix has a great arm and can throw deep passes with little effort. He shows elite touch on deep and intermediate passes and doesn’t just throw the ball as hard as he can on every pass. Has great pocket awareness and shows the ability to slide or step up when needed. He does need to tighten up his elongated throwing motion, and since he’s left-handed, teams would have to adjust their offensive scheme to fit that.