Broncos’ Sean Payton on comparisons between rookie Bo Nix and former QB Drew Brees

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The Russell Wilson experiment came to a screeching halt in March. 

The 35-year-old landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite acquiring Zach Wilson in a trade in April and still having veteran quarterback Jarrett Stidham on the roster, the Denver Broncos entered this year’s draft looking to add to their quarterback room.

Quarterbacks headlined the 2024 draft class, and a record-tying six signal-callers were taken in the first round. 

Former Oregon standout Bo Nix was the last quarterback drafted in the first round. He will likely compete for the Broncos’ starting job for the 2024 campaign.


Bo Nix talks to Sean Payton

Quarterback Bo Nix of the Denver Broncos talks to head coach Sean Payton while stretching during Denver Broncos rookie minicamp at Centura Health Training Center May 11, 2024, in Englewood, Colo. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Nix has thrown some passes to teammate Courtland Sutton during the Denver Broncos’ offseason workouts. The Pro Bowl wide receiver shared some high praise for the rookie.

“Bo brings a lot of really good qualities to our team in terms of the quarterback position,” Sutton said, via DNVR Sports. “He does a lot of things really, really well on the field. … He has that leader mentality, that aura that he walks with.”


Sean Payton is entering his second season in Denver. The Super Bowl-winning coach spent 16 seasons with the New Orleans Saints before taking a break from coaching for the 2022 season. 

Payton has consistently backed the decision to draft Nix, and the coach was recently asked whether the rookie shared any similarities with 13-time Pro Bowler Drew Brees.

Drew Brees and Sean Payton chat

Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints talk prior to a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome Dec. 8, 2019, in New Orleans. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Payton coached Brees 14 seasons during their time together in New Orleans, including the 2009 Super Bowl-winning campaign. From Payton’s point of view, Nix and Brees share some similarities, but he also sees some distinct differences.

“All right, we’re looking for similarities. I would say mentally, [Nix] wants to know as much and as fast as he can,” Payton said, via DNVR Sports. “I think there’s maybe a maturity level because, again, [Nix] played 61 games [in college] and when [the Saints] got Drew, it was off of his rookie contract and coming off an injury.”

Payton also noted that Nix “locates the ball well, and he’s accurate” like Brees.

Bo Nix throws the football

Bo Nix of the Denver Broncos throws during offseason workouts at Centura Health Training Center June 4, 2024, in Englewood, Colo.  (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

From a personal standpoint, Nix and Brees differ, according to Payton.

“Their personalities are different,” Payton said. “[Nix is] the son of a coach. Drew wasn’t necessarily the son of a coach.”


The Broncos open the regular season Sept. 8 when they face the Seahawks in Seattle. 

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