2. Sean Payton, Broncos needs a new quarterback after bailing on Russell Wilson
Since Peyton Manning retired after Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos have been in search of their next starting quarterback who can lead them back to the playoffs. Thus far, the Broncos have never been able to do so. In 2022, the Broncos pulled off a blockbuster trade for Russell Wilson and handed him a five-year, $242.58 million contract extension before playing a single snap for the team. In 2022, the Broncos and Wilson were a disaster under head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired after 15 games.
Entering the 2023 league year, the Broncos negotiated a trade with the New Orleans Saints to get Sean Payton out of retirement to become their new head coach. Payton has built a reputation of being a coach who can build a top-tier offense. The hope was that he could help out Wilson and improve his game. For the most part, he did just that, as Wilson threw for 3,070 yards, 26 touchdowns, and eight interceptions while completing 66.4 percent of his passes. It was a vast improvement over his 2022 season.
Yet, Wilson was benched by the Broncos unceremoniously. Reports indicated that the Broncos made this move after Wilson wouldn't adjust his current contract, which general manager George Paton denied. In all likelihood, Wilson will be set to debut for another team in 2024 (barring the Broncos being unable to find a replacement).
The Broncos hold the No. 12 overall pick, which puts them well out of range to select Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels. If they are to stand pat, they would be in a position to select a J.J. McCarthy or Bo Nix. There is a drop-off from the top three prospects at the position. But Sean Payton said during an appearance on FanDuel TV's Up and Adams with host Kay Adams that he islooking to evaluate the quarterbacks and doesn't care where people think they should draft them.
A move up to No. 3 would make sense for the Broncos if they do fall in love with one of the signal callers and avoid another team selecting the one they want.