Why Bo Nix will — and should — be the starting QB for the Broncos (2024)

There has been a lot of change at the quarterback position for the Denver Broncos in 2024. In came rookie first-round pick Bo Nix and beleaguered former first-round pick Zach Wilson; out went former Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. The lone holdover, Jarrett Stidham, was the Broncos’ starting quarterback in their final two games last season.

As with any situation involving a rookie quarterback, there will likely be talk of a competition and all that heading into training camp. However, given the Broncos long run of bad seasons, we may be safe to assume Bo Nix will be starting sooner rather than later.

Will Bo Nix land at the top of the Broncos depth chart?

Here is where I predict the Broncos depth chart lands on Week 1 and why I think each player is poised to secure their respective spots on the positional depth chart.

QB1. Bo Nix

A perennial losing team over the last eight season isn’t going to draft a quarterback 12th overall and have him sit for a year. This is Bo Nix’s time to shine... or flop.

All the rumors and reports ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft seemed to center around the Broncos being the perfect fit for Nix, but most analysts had him as the fifth or sixth best quarterback in the draft. That would suggest he would be a late first or early second-round pick at best. However, the run on quarterbacks in the top 10 forced Denver’s hand. Many called it a horrible reach, but imagine the Broncos quarterback situation right now had they risked losing out on Nix by playing the value game? It would not be good to say the least.

Despite being the sixth quarterback taken in the draft, Nix was the No. 3 guy on the Broncos’ board all along and they absolutely love the kid.

“I would say, you can feel his 61 games played in college,” offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said of Nix after mandatory minicamp in mid-June. “With experience, a calmness comes along with it. So he certainly doesn’t feel like a rookie. He’s learning a brand-new system, so whether you’re a veteran or a rookie coming in, that’s common to all these people. He has seen a lot and doesn’t make the same mistake twice very often. There is a maturity level. I think when you draft a guy who is a little bit older, you hope that that comes with it, but he’s certainly shown that.”

Given the amount of games Nix has played and his age, it is unlikely Denver drafted him to sit for a year. They need a starting quarterback now.

Zach Wilson has been in the league for three seasons already and is just six months older than rookie Bo Nix. It just wouldn’t make sense for Bo Nix not to start Week 1. If he doesn’t, then the Broncos’ draft class is in serious doubt right out of the gate considering how little draft capital they had in the first two days of this year’s draft.

QB2. Zach Wilson

When Denver traded for Zach Wilson, I loved the idea of bringing in a project like him to potentially salvage his career. As a top draft picks, the pedigree is there and coaches will just need to work on bringing back the confidence.

The former No. 2 overall pick by the New York Jets has struggled to live up to his draft status with just a 57% completion rate and 6,293 yards with 23 touchdowns against 25 interceptions in his three-year career. It didn’t help that he was drafted by the Jets, who have struggled — like the Broncos — to field a competitive football team in recent years.

If he could get a few years under a coaching staff led by Sean Payton, I could see his later career being revitalized for a guy like Wilson.

QB3. Jarrett Stidham

At the end of the day, I do think Jarrett Stidham will likely be the better option as the Week 1 backup to Bo Nix. However, due to his contract and Wilson’s draft pedigree, I think he ends up the odd man out.

The main reason I think Wilson ends up beating out Stidham is on the money side of things. Both he and Wilson are under contract just for this year, but Wilson’s cap number is just $2.7 million compared to Stidham’s $7 million. From a pure numbers standpoint, it would seem like if they are somewhat close for that backup spot that Wilson will get the nod due to his contract and his draft pedigree.

I like Stidham as a backup a lot, and if he ends up beating out Wilson then I will not be sad about that.

What to expect from a Bo Nix-led Broncos team in 2024

There was a reason why many draft analysts had Bo Nix pegged as a top prospect for Sean Payton and his offensive system. The two seemed to be a perfect match for what Nix excels at and what Payton wants to do in his offense. We should also remember that Payton had a broken Russell Wilson in prime position to challenge for a playoff run late last season before those wheels finally came off, so perhaps the ceiling should even be raised a bit with a rookie quarterback at the helm.

As someone who watched a lot of film on the Broncos last year, Wilson left a lot of big plays out there. If Nix can begin seeing just a fraction of those wide-open receivers, then this offense is poised to make a respectable leap forward.

Obviously as a fan, I’ll be hoping for that outcome, but there will be growing pains — the kind that always come with a first-year starting quarterback. Denver will need to maintain a good defense and a strong rushing attack for Nix to excel and lead this team to the playoffs this season.

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Why Bo Nix will — and should — be the starting QB for the Broncos (2024)

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