On Monday, Zach Wilson was traded from the New York Jets to the Denver Broncos.

On Thursday, he got even more competition in Denver, as the Broncos used the No. 12 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft to select Oregon quarterback Bo Nix.

For the embattled Wilson, the former BYU and Corner Canyon High star and No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, the trade didn’t guarantee he would be the starter in Denver — far from it, after three tough seasons to begin his career.

The Broncos’ drafting of Nix, though, adds even more intrigue to what should be one of the more interesting QB situations heading into the 2024 NFL season.

Nix was the sixth quarterback to come off the board in the 2024 draft, following USC’s Caleb Williams (No. 1 to Chicago), LSU’s Jayden Daniels (No. 2 to Washington), North Carolina’s Drake Maye (No. 3 to New England), Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (No. 8 to Atlanta) and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy (No. 10 to Minnesota).

Denver didn’t have a second-round selection, which helps explain why they went after Nix so early in the draft.

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In addition to the rookie Nix and fourth-year Wilson, the Broncos have Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci in their quarterbacks room.

Stidham started the last two games of the 2023 season after Denver benched veteran Russell Wilson, who was released this offseason.

DiNucci was a practice-squad member last season.

Who will be Denver’s starting quarterback?

Of the four quarterbacks in Denver, Zach Wilson has by far the most starting experience at the NFL level, though it came amid struggles as he went 12-21 as a starter in New York while completing 57% of his passes for 6,293 yards, 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions.

Nix, who played the first three years of his college career at Auburn before transferring to Oregon, where he played the past two seasons, had an accomplished college career.

He started 61 games and threw for 15,352 yards and 108 touchdowns, to just 26 interceptions, while completing 66.4% of his passes.

Nix’s final season at Oregon was especially impressive, as he completed 77.4% of his passes for 4,508 yards, 45 touchdowns and three interceptions.

That begs the question — who will be the starter when Denver opens the 2024 season?

While Wilson has more NFL experience than anyone else in the Broncos QB room, it’s clear Nix has plenty of believers in Denver who think he’s got what it takes to make an immediate impact.

For Wilson, who was supposed to fill a backup role behind Aaron Rodgers last season before Rodgers was injured four plays into the season, this appears again to be a chance to learn out of the spotlight that shines on the starting quarterback, as he tries to reset his career.

What experts said about the Broncos drafting Bo Nix

Denver’s selection understandably elicited strong opinions from NFL draft experts across the country.

The overarching theme was that Nix fits the mold of what Denver coach Sean Payton is looking for in a starting quarterback.

Here’s just a sampling of what was said.

ESPN’s Steve Muench called Nix’s selection a “slight reach,” while acknowledging that Denver didn’t have much leverage to try and move up for another QB. Plus, at that point in the draft, Nix was easily the top quarterback available.

“With Jarrett Stidham and newly-acquired Zach Wilson as the top quarterbacks on the Broncos’ roster, Nix enters into a situation where he could find early snaps,” ESPN colleague Jordan Reid wrote. “With 61 career starts during his college career — the most in FBS history — Nix will mesh well into coach Sean Payton’s offense. Oregon’s offense was predominantly run-pass option and there will be an adjustment period for him as he enters into a tough AFC West.”

CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco gave the selection a C- grade.

“I don’t love Nix, but I get the pick,” Prisco said. “Desperation forces teams to pick quarterbacks earlier than they should. Sean Payton obviously sees Drew Brees in him, but this is way early. Why not trade down and get him later?”

“With a lightning-quick arm, elite accuracy, and tons of experience, Nix should be an immediate upgrade for a Denver team that has been looking for its quarterback for a decade now.”

—  Draft Wire's Natalie Miller

The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner and Scott Dochterman gave the selection a C+ grade, calling it a “bold move.”

“There’s a lot to like about Nix. In fact, the conversation about the former Oregon passer is very similar to the one on Penix: He’s older and come with physical limitations. Unlike Penix, though, Nix also played in a very college-style offense at Oregon,” Baumgardner and Dochterman wrote.

“But Sean Payton knows quarterbacks, and Denver can’t go anywhere without one. The fit here does work, as Nix’s quick release and poise should fit pretty well with Payton’s scheme. Still, as with the Penix pick, it sure feels like Denver could’ve gotten more value here. It’s a bold move, if nothing else.”

USA Today’s Nate Davis went as far as declaring Nix the leader to start this season.


“If you need a quarterback to start immediately — as the Broncos basically do — this could be your guy,” Davis wrote. “... Nix (6-2, 214) doesn’t have an elite arm, but he does take care of the ball and makes quick decisions in addition to his accuracy, valued traits by Denver HC Sean Payton.”

Draft Wire’s Natalie Miller was more bullish, giving the selection a B+ grade.

“Nix projects as the immediate starter in a Denver quarterback room that is lacking in talent outside the likes of Zach Wilson. With lots of starting experience in college, Nix should be able to plug and play in this Sean Payton offense,” MIller wrote.

“With a lightning-quick arm, elite accuracy, and tons of experience, Nix should be an immediate upgrade for a Denver team that has been looking for its quarterback for a decade now.”

FILE - Oregon quarterback Bo Nix looks to pass against Washington during the first half of the Pac-12 championship NCAA college football game Dec. 1, 2023, in Las Vegas. The Denver Broncos drafted former Nix with the 12th pick in the NFL draft Thursday night, April 25, 2024. | David Becker
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