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Does Bo Nix even have real competition as Broncos’ starting QB?

Does Bo Nix even have real competition as Broncos' starting QB?

With OTAs over and training camps still weeks away, plenty of questions are circling the NFL. Charles McDonald is tackling them this summer.

The Denver Broncos have walked into a new era. Their acquisition of Russell Wilson didn’t turn into anything except the largest dead cap figure in NFL history, forcing their hand into a rebuild where they drafted a brand new franchise quarterback: Oregon’s Bo Nix with the 12th pick in the draft.

That selection was controversial, to say the least. Nix wasn’t really connected to anyone outside of the Broncos in the leadup to the draft, mostly due to concerns about his perceived ceiling at the NFL level. However, none of that really matters now. Nix is the Broncos' quarterback of the future — and based on the quarterbacks they have surrounding him, he’s probably the quarterback of now, too.

Nix joins Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson in the Broncos’ quarterback room. Stidham started the final two games of last season following the benching of Russell Wilson, posting a quarterback rating of 31.0 (out of 100) for the season. Zach Wilson started for the Jets for the majority of last season after Aaron Rodgers suffered an Achilles injury, posting a QBR of 30.8. To put it lightly, Wilson and Stidham have struggled up to this point and they’re the only ones standing in the way of Nix becoming the starting quarterback.

It’s fair to ask: Is this even a real quarterback competition? Those players have been established as non-starter talent in the NFL. Neither Stidham nor Wilson are even veteran players that a team would trust to hold down the fort for a while, like the Patriots are doing with Jacoby Brissett and Drake Maye. These guys are confirmed backups, at best. It really does seem like the Broncos have full intention of making Nix the starting quarterback without much competition.

There are generally two ways to look at how teams should handle their rookie quarterbacks. One: The Broncos should sit Nix for the season to let him sit behind a veteran (that they don’t really have) so he can learn the game and how to be a pro. Two: Throw Nix into the fire and let him learn on the fly. Neither school of thought is necessarily wrong, but Nix clearly finds himself in a spot where he’s going to be starter for the vast majority of his rookie year. It’s also fair to wonder if the Broncos should even bother with the thought of sitting Nix considering his age (24).

For better or worse, this is Nix’s job to lose. Head coach Sean Payton sought after him in the draft and has praised him at every turn when asked about him this offseason. His fate is tied to Nix, which seems like a big leap of faith considering where most people had him ranked prior to the draft.

Of course, everyone could be wrong and Nix really is Drew Brees 2.0, which would make asking any questions about this process rather funny. Either way, Nix undoubtedly faces a tough rookie year on a rebuilding team in one of the tougher divisions in the league.

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