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Broncos GM George Paton believes Bo Nix 'more game-ready' than younger QBs

The Denver Broncos didn't hesitate to scoop up Bo Nix with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, even though many evaluators felt it was early for the Oregon quarterback to come off the board.

Much has been made of the age gap between the top six quarterbacks in this year's draft. Three were younger, with Caleb Williams, J.J. McCarthy and Drake Maye all 22 or younger, while three -- Jayden Daniels, Michael Penix Jr. and Nix -- all turn 24 in 2024. The COVID-19-induced age gap added another equation to the evaluation process.

Broncos general manager George Paton told Mike Klis of 9NEWS Denver that Nix's age and experience -- 61 starts in college -- appealed to a club that expects the rookie to hit the ground running.

"You look at it, it's hard because this is new, but 24 years old is not that old for football," Paton said. "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."

Since Peyton Manning's retirement, the Broncos have been a revolving door at quarterback, with 12 different signal-callers getting starts. Denver hopes Nix can stop turnover and end the club's eight-year streak of missing the postseason.

The Broncos had a private workout with Nix on March 18 in Eugene, Ore., and from then on, the experienced quarterback was coach Sean Payton's top target.

"I'd watched all the quarterbacks, seen them live (during the regular season on scouting trips)," Paton told Klis. "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 snagged their target, who brings excellent production and leadership to the position. The 24-year-old enters offseason workouts with a leg up on the starting gig over Jarrett Stidham, Ben DiNucci and recent trade acquisition Zach Wilson.

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