The Denver Broncos were viewed as a trade-up candidate less than one week before the 2024 NFL Draft. Many pointed to Sean Payton’s rebuilding team as a potential landing spot for a top quarterback prospect like Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy.

But that was before Payton and the Broncos reportedly acquired quarterback Zach Wilson from the New York Jets.

The Broncos acquired Wilson and a seventh-round pick (No. 256) in exchange for a sixth-round pick (No. 207), per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. New York and Denver reportedly will split Wilson’s $5.5 million salary in 2024.

The 24-year-old Wilson, who was the second overall pick by the Jets in 2021, now joins a quarterback room featuring Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci. It’s much more of a who’s who than it is a hierarchy of signal-callers.

Story continues below advertisement

But could the move take the Broncos out of the first-round quarterback market? Could it signify that Denver has no intention of trading up? It could. And that would not be a good thing for a team hoping to trade down for a bag of draft picks.

The New England Patriots, specially, are one team that has been viewed as a potential trade-down candidate. Patriots de facto general manager Eliot Wolf fueled that speculation when he said New England remains “open for business.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Perhaps the Patriots now have one fewer trade partner?

Then again, this isn’t to say there’s no chance Denver doesn’t entertain the idea.

Story continues below advertisement

After all, the modest sixth-round pick the Broncos sent to the Meadowlands is not some crazy coup. And it’s not like Payton and company can confidently view Wilson as a surefire starter. Denver instead is betting on a young quarterback and his potential.

The top quarterbacks in 2024 surely offer more potential than Wilson.

Featured image via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images