Denver Broncos Rookie Forecast

Solid Starter

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon – Round 1

After moving on from the disastrous Russell Wilson trade, the Broncos were desperate to find a starting quarterback of the future for Sean Payton. Payton stated that he feigned interest in Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy even thought Nix was the quarterback that he wanted all along. While evaluators at some other teams did feel Nix was a high first-round caliber player, Payton felt differently and Nix looks like the starter of the future for the Broncos.

There is a lot to like Nix (6-2, 214) for the NFL. He is an instinctive and accurate passer that throws a very catchable ball. In his final two seasons, Nix was superb with his ball placement showing excellent mental aptitude for the position. To go along with his impressive instincts, Nix anticipated receivers coming open and did a very good job of working through his progressions playing with excellent vision. He recognized coverage and knew where to go with the ball. Nix did a very good job of getting the ball out fast while not being a robot that was just predetermining where he was going with the ball. Nix is a great fit for a West Coast offense with his ability to be accurate and throw precision passes in the short to intermediate part of the field.

On top of his improved passing ability, Nix remained dangerous on the ground. He is a good athlete in the pocket with quick feet to dodge the rush and make throws on the run. Nix is a nimble and shifty quarterback that can be tough to bring down for defenders. He also is a threat to pick up yards as a runner. While Nix is not an elite runner like a Lamar Jackson, Nix is a good athlete that has a good burst for a quarterback along with elusive moves to dodge tacklers. In the NFL, his mobility will be an asset to pick up some first downs on third-and-manageable when nothing is open. Nix does not have special arm talent for the NFL. His arm is adequate to push the ball vertically, but Nix does not have a cannon or a power arm.

Nix may not start immediately as he will have to beat out veterans Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson, but before too long the pressure to play Nix will be push him into the starting lineup. With Payton coaching him, I think Nix could develop into a solid starter for the Broncos.

2023: Drew Sanders, OLB
2022: Nik Bonitto, OLB
2021: Patrick Surtain, CB
2020: K.J. Hamler, WR
2019: Drew Lock, QB
2018: Courtland Sutton, WR
2017: Demarcus Walker, DE
2016: Devontae Booker, RB
2015: Jeff Heuerman, TE
2014: Lamin Barrow, LB
2013: Sylvester Williams, DE

Most Likely To Bust


The Broncos were without their second-round pick and I do not think that first-round pick Bo Nix or third-round pick Jonah Elliss will be busts for Denver.

2023: None
2022: Greg Dulcich, TE
2021: Baron Browning, LB
2020: McTelvin Agim, DT
2019: Dalton Risner, OT
2018: Isaac Yiadom, CB
2017: Carlos Henderson, WR
2016: Justin Simmons, S
2015: Ty Sambrailo, OT
2014: Bradley Roby, CB
2013: Montee Ball, RB

Potential Boom Pick


While I don’t see a boom pick in the Broncos draft class, they got four good value picks from round three through round five that I think will strengthen their roster.

2022: None
2021: None
2021: Javonte Williams, RB
2020: Jerry Jeudy, WR
2019: Noah Fant, TE
2018: Bradley Chubb, DE
2017: Garett Bolles, OT
2016: Paxton Lynch, QB
2015: Shane Ray, LB
2014: Cody Latimer, WR
2013: Quanterus Smith, DE

Future Depth Player

Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon – Round 4

There were a lot of projections of Franklin being a second-round pick, so it was a surprise when he slipped to the fourth round. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound Franklin is extremely fast to get separation on defensive backs over the top and stretching the field vertically. He is a home run hitter that has a second gear to run by defensive backs and get open deep down the field. As a pro, Franklin is going to challenge defenses with his deep speed as he can flat out fly past defensive backs. Along with his speed, Franklin has good height and a larger catch radius than typical speed receivers.

Franklin is rail thin and it looks like he won’t be able to add much weight to his frame. Being that thin could limit Franklin as he could struggle to get off press coverage and have problems with physical cornerbacks. As a route runner Franklin is linear and has some limitations. As a result of the size and route-running, Franklin might top out as a third and or fourth rotational receiver in the NFL.

Currently, the Broncos have experienced starting receivers in Courtland Sutton, Josh Reynolds, and Tim Patrick. Franklin will enter in a competition for playing time with those veterans and 2023 second-round pick. Perhaps Franklin will prove to be a starter in time, but I think he will at least be a solid backup and rotational wide out at the pro level.

2023: Marvin Mims, WR
2022: Damarri Mathis, CB
2021: Caden Sterns, S
2020: Albert Okweugbunam, TE
2019: Dre’Mont Jones, DT
2018: Daesean Hamilton, WR
2017: Brendan Langley, CB
2016: Connor McGovern, G
2015: Max Garcis, C
2014: Corey Nelson, LB
2013: Kayvon Webster, CB