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Broncos mock draft roundup: Analysts' pre-combine projections for Denver's 2024 NFL Draft


The road to the 2024 NFL Draft has begun, and NFL analysts are deep in their draft projections, including whom the Broncos could select with their first-round pick. Denver holds the 12th-overall pick in April's draft, and we've curated several recent mocks from national reporters and analysts to compile the following overview:

Round 1, No. 12 overall

Daniel Jeremiah, EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State (Feb. 20)

"Denver is another potential landing spot for a quarterback. In this exercise, though, they complement some of the young talent in the secondary with a difference-maker up front."

Charles McDonald and Nate Tice, Yahoo! Sports: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama (Feb. 20)

"Denver ends up in a tough spot here with the favored quarterbacks off the board, but it can bolster another premium position that needs an infusion of talent."

Marcus Mosher, 33rd Team: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (Feb. 19)

"Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of buzz about J.J. McCarthy and his draft stock. He is a lock to be the No. 4 quarterback off the board, and he may slide into the top 10. McCarthy would be an outstanding fit in Sean Payton's offense and give the Denver Broncos a long-term answer at quarterback."

Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (Feb. 18)

"I have mocked J.J. McCarthy higher than most in the media for awhile. He is not a finished product, but when searching for a consistent commodity and a proven winner, McCarthy is difficult to top. He is liked more in the league than the media."

Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire: QB Bo Nix, Oregon (Feb. 17)

Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo (Feb. 16)

"Don't let the small-school pedigree fool you. Placing Mitchell on the same field as Patrick Surtain [II] would create a no-fly zone in the Mile High City. He was clearly the best cornerback in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. Mitchell is a proven ball-hawk who wins with a mixture of elite athleticism and physicality."

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia (Feb. 16)

"Sean Payton knows the impact an electric tight end can have on an offense, and can't pass on Bowers here."

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State (Feb. 15)

"QB is a huge need here, but Sean Payton doesn't have a history of rolling the dice with rookie QBs. Instead, the Broncos bolster the pass rush with Jared Verse."

Field Yates, ESPN: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (Feb. 14)

"McCarthy is an accuracy merchant with very good mobility. Scouts believe he offers more as a thrower than we saw during his last season at Michigan, when the Wolverines leaned heavily on a dominant defense and run game.

The Ringer: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama (Feb. 14)

"I debated passing on a cornerback here. With Patrick Surtain II, the CB1 spot is clearly secured in Denver, and the emergence of Ja'Quan McMillian this season is huge for the slot corner position. With Riley Moss waiting in the wings, the Broncos could pass on drafting their CB2 here and go after OL or DL help—but I love the idea of a high-ceiling prospect in Arnold, who is wicked quick and physical as all get out, running opposite Surtain."

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (Feb. 12)

"This could be too high for McCarthy. But a lot of teams need a quarterback, including Denver, which is low on capital. McCarthy's 20, runs with great acceleration, has arm talent and is a great athlete. He has some ball-placement issues to overcome, but there are more positives than negatives."

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (Feb. 12)

"McCarthy would be a good fit after those other QBs are off the board."

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY: T Olu Fashanu, Penn State (Feb. 12)

"Fashanu ... has all the physical tools to be an upper-echelon pass protector."

Bleacher Report: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (Feb. 12)

"Michigan's J.J. McCarthy isn't on the same tier as Drake Maye, Caleb Williams or Jayden Daniels. But he presents intriguing upside as a 21-year-old prospect who has yet to fully tap into his potential thanks to a run-first Michigan Wolverines offense."

Connor Livesay, 33rd Team: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA (Feb. 12)

"For my money, Laiatu Latu is the top edge rusher in this class and fills a big void in the Denver Broncos defense. Latu's toolbox is the deepest in this class, and he can win with speed, power and technique from multiple alignments."

Cynthia Frelund, CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa (Feb. 9)

"There is a long road between now and the draft. We'll be watching to see what Denver does at the quarterback position, but Broncos Country, your team would immediately improve if you pick this very dynamic Iowa CB. Adding DeJean to complement Pat Surtain II would be pretty special. He has experience in off coverage, which allowed me to measure how he takes straight lines at a rate in the top 18 percentile (this can also be considered a gauge of his ball-tracking ability)."

Matt Miller, ESPN: QB Bo Nix, Oregon (Feb. 5)

"Nix is coming off a solid showing at the Senior Bowl, where team scouts raved about his interviews and the work he did in practice. Nix, who started for three seasons at Auburn before transferring to Oregon in 2022, is experienced and pro-ready, and he has the accuracy (nation-leading 77.4% completion rate) and second-effort mobility to work well with coach Sean Payton's scheme."

Lance Zierlein, QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (Feb. 5)

"NFL evaluators have described McCarthy's processing as 'elite' in my conversations with them. Drew Brees was a great processer, but he didn't have the same athletic ability that McCarthy offers. This just feels like a Sean Payton pick."

Eric Edholm, DL Byron Murphy II, Texas (Feb. 2)

"I know many will pine for a quarterback, but I think the Broncos will be hard-pressed to land a worthy talent at the position in this lofty draft slot. Instead, they could pivot to upgrading the interior D-line with an explosive penetrator such as Murphy, even if this feels a tad high for him."

via mock trade: Round 1, No. 2 overall

Trevor Sikkema, Pro Football Focus: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina (Feb. 12)

"Teams such as the Falcons, Raiders, Broncos and Vikings will all be looking to move up for a quarterback. Here, I have an aggressive Sean Payton moving from No. 12 to No. 2 by giving up the same compensation package the 49ers offered to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 for Trey Lance in 2021."

via mock trade: Round 1, No. 4 overall

Chad Reuter, QB Drake Maye, North Carolina (Feb. 12)

"With Harrison off the board, the Cardinals acquire a 2025 first-round pick, along with a third-rounder this year, to swap places with Denver. Head coach Sean Payton gets his new quarterback."

via mock trade: Round 1, No. 18 overall

Dan Parr, QB Bo Nix, Oregon (Feb. 16)

"Sean Payton is desperate for help after parting with Russell Wilson in this hypothetical and missing out on the first four quarterbacks off the board. Nix has the experience and intelligence to be a good fit in Denver."

via mock trade: Round 1, No. 31 overall

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: QB Bo Nix, Oregon (Feb. 16)

"To get that extra year on the rookie deal, the Broncos move back into Round 1 for Nix, who Payton will likely love due to his vast collegiate experience and the maturation he showed as a quick decision-maker from the pocket at Oregon. In this deal, the 49ers move this selection and a 2025 fourth-round pick and receive Denver's 2025 first-rounder and No. 76 in this draft (third round)."

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