Broncos’ Sean Payton Makes Weird Comment On QB Competition

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos
NFL Analysis Network

The Denver Broncos selected quarterback Bo Nix with the 12th overall pick of the NFL Draft last month, but that doesn’t mean he is guaranteed the starting job.

The Broncos are going into camp with Nix, Jarrett Stidham (who started the final two games of last season) and Zach Wilson all vying for the No. 1 role at signal-caller, and head coach Sean Payton is going to be monitoring all of them closely.

When asked about the quarterback competition on Friday, Payton made a rather strange comment in describing the trio of contestants.

“It’s kind of the orphan group,” Payton said, via Grant Gordon of NFL.com. “They’re all orphaned dogs. They’ve come from somewhere, but they’re doing good. It’s a good room.”

Uh, okay then.

But I get where Payton is coming from.

“They come from different systems,” Payton continued. “One is coming from college. One is coming from two or three NFL systems, and the other is coming from one system. They’re all in a race to learn this system. I would say — you guys watched the practice — they’re doing well.”

Nix is certainly the favorite to come out on top.

The University of Oregon product is coming off of a fantastic 2023 campaign in which he threw for 4,508 yards, 45 touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 77.4 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 234 yards and six scores.

“He’s farther along than most,” Payton said of Nix. “We’re talking about a player who has played 61 games. He’s extremely smart. He’s picked it up very quickly.”

However, there is a chance that the Broncos opt to sit the 24-year-old early on if they don’t feel the environment is conducive for him right off the bat.

Obviously, Nix is who Denver sees as its quarterback of the future, but Payton and Co. are going to want to ensure that he enters the best situation possible as not to potentially damage him long term.

Stidham replaced Russell Wilson as the starter for the final two weeks of 2023 after Wilson was benched for not deferring his injury guarantee.

The 27-year-old is probably the most likely candidate to start in place of Nix next season if Payton feels that the incoming rookie isn’t ready.

Wilson almost certainly will end up at the bottom of the depth chart after enduring three incredibly rough seasons with the New York Jets.

We’ll see who Sean Payton ultimately ends up choosing as his starter in a few months.

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