Last week, the Denver Broncos landed their quarterback of the future when they selected Oregon's Bo Nix with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. While five quarterbacks came off the board ahead of Nix, part of the reason the Broncos identified him as their guy is because of his experience, according to general manager George Paton. 

"You look at it, it's hard because this is new, but 24 years old is not that old for football," Paton said, according to 9News in Denver. "You evaluate it, but you're really evaluating the player, you're evaluating the person. Evaluate how they fit in with the organization, especially for a quarterback.

"To me, the age, they're going to be more, especially with a guy like Bo Nix, 61 starts, we feel like he'll be more game-ready than if we were going to draft a 21-year-old."

Nix ended up starting for five seasons at the college level thanks to the extra year afforded players due to COVID-19. The 2023 season was by far his best, as he completed 77.4% of his passes at an average of 9.6 yards per attempt, with 45 touchdowns against just 3 interceptions. Across his previous four seasons at Auburn and Oregon, he was at a 62.9% completion rate, 7.4 yards per attempt, 68 scores, and 23 picks.

Watching his film, though, is what brought head coach Sean Payton on board with selecting Nix in the first round. 

"I'd watched all the quarterbacks, seen them live (during the regular season on scouting trips)," Paton said. "And then the season's over, I get with Sean and we watched the quarterbacks (on tape). And Sean liked a lot of these quarterbacks.

"And when we got to Bo, it was pretty instant. Sean was like, 'man.' You know, Sean. He really liked him, and then we went to the private workout and spent three hours with Bo in the meeting setting, and he was outstanding. And we go out to the field, and he made 10, 15 throws, and Sean came up to me and said, 'This is the guy.' And I said, 'Hey, we've got a whole process to go through. But he was really the target from then on."

The Broncos added Nix's college teammate, wide receiver Troy Franklin, later in the draft, but the rest of their roster-building has been a bit hamstrung this offseason after the team released Russell Wilson and took on a massive dead cap hit. They will have a few years on Nix's rookie deal to build up the roster around him, and Payton is obviously well-known for his work with quarterbacks. Things could be difficult early on, though, due to the state of the team's salary-cap situation.