Denver Broncos Final NFL Draft Grades 2024: Bo Nix, Troy Franklin Reunite in Sean Payton’s Offense

Were the Denver Broncos able to navigate a tough situation in the 2024 NFL Draft with Sean Payton at the helm? Their NFL Draft grades explore.

Without great capital or flexibility, were the Denver Broncos able to make the best of a bad situation in the 2024 NFL Draft? Their 2024 NFL Draft grades explore their actions over the three days and discern whether or not the Broncos took a step forward.

Denver Broncos 2024 NFL Draft Grades

Round 1, Pick 12: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Bo Nix was the sixth quarterback to come off the board in the first 12 picks. Like Michael Penix Jr., this is a bit of a reach on the PFN value board, but the Broncos were always in a tough spot.

In a perfect world, the Broncos would have engineered a trade back to acquire more capital – but once five QBs flew off the board, that became unrealistic. While Nix has his flaws – even as a veteran QB – he does bring redeeming qualities for the Broncos.

With his accuracy and his propensity to distribute and work the middle of the field, he’s a good fit for Sean Payton’s scheme, and he has the athleticism and arm elasticity to bring additional upside as a creator. There are valid concerns about his ultimate ceiling, but in the right situation, he can be a long-term starter.

Grade: B-

Round 3, Pick 76: Jonah Elliss, EDGE, Utah

After nabbing their quarterback in Round 1, the Denver Broncos drafted much-needed EDGE help with the 76th overall pick, taking Jonah Elliss from the University of Utah.

Elliss was one of the most productive pass-rushers in college football in 2023, with 12 sacks and 16 tackles for loss across the campaign. At 6’2”, 248 pounds, he has good proportional length and tested as an elite athlete — with a 38” vertical, 10’ broad jump, and a historic 6.69-second three-cone.

MORE: Analysis and Grades for All 7 Rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft

Elliss doesn’t solve one major problem in the Broncos’ EDGE room, and that’s size and play strength. But he does provide Denver with a tenacious pass-rush technician who maximizes his physical gifts with workman-like execution, strong natural leverage, and slippery bend.

Grade: B

Round 4, Pick 102 (From WAS via SEA): Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

Troy Franklin fell on account of his lighter frame and his struggles with physicality, but he’s an excellent pick for the Broncos early on Day 3. A top-75 talent on my board, Franklin is an explosive vertical and RAC threat, and he has pre-existing chemistry with Denver’s new QB Bo Nix.

Grade: A+

Round 5, Pick 145: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri

In Round 5, the Broncos took advantage of the depth at the CB position in the 2024 class and selected Missouri’s Kris Abrams-Draine. At one point in the cycle, Abrams-Draine was viewed as a potential Day 2 pick, but even after a late-cycle slide, his value is good at this point.

Though Abrams-Draine might not be as good a fit in press-man looks in Vance Joseph’s defense, he’s a bandit in off-man and zone coverage with his route recognition, closing speed, and ball skills. And he plays larger than his frame suggests in support

Grade: B+

Round 5, Pick 147: Audric Estimé, RB, Notre Dame

The fifth round is always a good spot to add depth at the running back position, and Audric Estimé could go on to exceed his value in Denver. He’s a fringe top-100 prospect on my board, fitting the profile of a reliable volume back with his contact balance and vision inside the tackles.

If Javonte Williams regresses in 2024, Estimé could break out — but Denver could’ve also found a more versatile back at this point.

Grade: B-

Round 7, Pick 239: Devaughn Vele, WR, Utah

With one of their last selections, the Broncos acquired Utah wide receiver Devaughn Vele. Vele fits the profile of a late-round depth WR. He likely won’t have the same kind of impact as Franklin in Year 1, but he has utility. At 6’4”, 201 pounds, Vele does have good box-out ability and play strength at the catch point, as well as measured alignment versatility and stalwart blocking ability.

Grade: B-

Round 7, Pick 256: Nick Gargiulo, C, South Carolina

An underrated need for the Broncos heading into the 2024 NFL Draft was center after losing Lloyd Cushenberry in free agency. Now, with the 256th pick in the draft, they might’ve gotten a potential starter in Nick Gargiulo. At 6’5”, 313 pounds, Gargiulo plays too far upright with his pads at times, but he’s a plus lateral athlete with active feet, good awareness, and the motor to finish reps down in and down out.

Grade: A+

Denver Broncos 2024 NFL Draft Summary

The vast majority of the Broncos’ 2024 class’ impact will be weighed based on Nix’s performance at QB. He is the tide that raises all boats — but value acquisitions like Franklin, Abrams-Draine, and Gargiulo can’t go overlooked.

KEEP READING: Broncos UDFA Signings and Rookie Camp Invites

With the little capital they had, the Broncos were at least able to address multiple needs, while also adding a QB who could be a competent starter in Sean Payton’s scheme. Time will tell what the ultimate returns are, but this was a step in the right direction.

Final Grade: B+

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