2024 NFL Draft grades: Denver Broncos earn one of our lowest grades mostly due to one pick

Sorry, Broncos fans. There's no other way to slice this. The Broncos made some fantastic selections on the second and third days of the draft, but taking Bo Nix with the 12th overall pick is a head-scratcher. Nix wasn’t a prospect who was highly in demand and his ceiling appears limited in the NFL. Nix should win the starting job over Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson, but Nix will need to develop a level of playmaking that wasn’t really there on his college tape. Maybe head coach Sean Payton is right and he can make Nix the next Drew Brees, but that’s selling the peak of Brees’ play awfully short. It's a strange start for the Broncos as they kick off their rebuild. Outside of Nix, they may have found immediate, quality contributors with Utah edge rusher Jonah Elliss, Oregon WR Troy Franklin and Notre Dame RB Audric Estime. Franklin and Estime are younger prospects with legitimate upside.

Huge upside swing for the Broncos in the fifth round. Estime didn’t have the draft workouts he would have hoped for, but turn on the tape of him running away from players in college. He has some nice juice and long speed for a powerful runner and has starter potential in the NFL. At the very least, he has the talent to take some RB2 reps from Samaje Perine as a rookie.

Least favorite pick: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (12th overall)

Nix is an NFL-quality quarterback without a doubt, and probably the best option on the Broncos' roster. That didn’t mean the Broncos had to spend their first pick on him. Nix was extremely productive in his final year at Oregon, throwing 45 touchdowns to just three interceptions but he doesn’t have the top-end physical traits that the great quarterbacks possess nowadays. Perhaps head coach Sean Payton thinks he’ll build a quick passing game around Nix. He remains a questionable pick so early in the draft.

Round 1, Pick 12: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
Round 3, Pick 76: Jonah Elliss, Edge, Utah
Round 4, Pick 102: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
Round 5, Pick 145: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri
Round 5, Pick 147: Audric Estime, RB, Notre Dame
Round 7, Pick 235: Devaughn Vele, WR, Utah
Round 7, Pick 256: Nick Gargiulo, OL, South Carolina