Bo Nix compared to Drew Brees—Is this the spark the Broncos need to turn their season around?

In the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, where the air is thin and expectations are sky high, the Denver Broncos have been searching for their quarterback messiah since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset. Enter Bo Nix, the rookie with a record-breaking 61 college starts under his belt, now standing at the foot of his own potential Mile High miracle. And if Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham’s words are anything to go by, Broncos Country might just be in for a ‘Drive’ of their own – this time led by a quarterback drawing comparisons to the legendary Drew Brees.

Whittingham, who’s seen Nix slice and dice his defense like a hot knife through butter, didn’t just tip his hat to the young gun – he practically crowned him. “I don’t know Drew Brees, all I did was watch him from afar, but there are some similarities there,” he told the DNVR Broncos Podcast back in June. Coming from a coach who’s faced Nix twice in the past two seasons, that’s not just coach-speak – it’s as good as gold dust in the football world.

The Utah coach’s praise wasn’t just a fleeting compliment. It was a full-on highlight reel of Nix’s talents. “He is an alpha dog,” Whittingham stated, painting a picture of a field general that would make even John Elway nod in approval. “I don’t know him personally, but you can just see it on the field. He exudes leadership.”


Article continues below this ad

Poll of the day

Do you think Bo Nix will live up to the Drew Brees comparison?



Not a chance

Too early to tell

But it’s not just Nix’s intangibles that have Whittingham singing his praises louder than the South Stands on game day. The stats tell a story that’s sweeter than a perfectly executed flea-flicker. Nix’s 77.4% completion rate last season wasn’t just good – it set an FBS single-season record. As Whittingham put it, “His completions percentage is uncanny. He does get the ball out quick, but he gets it out quick and puts it right where it needs to be.”

And if you thought Nix was just a stationary target, think again. Whittingham added, “Tough to sack, obviously that goes hand-in-hand with getting the ball out quick. Makes such quick decisions, such a quick processor that very seldom do you have a chance to get home.” It’s enough to make Broncos fans dream of a quarterback who can escape pressure faster than Houdini in his prime.

For Broncos, head coach Sean Payton, these comparisons must sound sweeter than the Monday morning headlines after a prime-time victory. After all, it was Payton who helped mold Drew Brees into one of the NFL’s all-time greats. Now, he sees similar potential in Nix. “I think there’s maybe a maturity level because, again, [Nix] played 61 games [in college],” Payton noted last month, drawing parallels to when he first got Brees.

Sean Payton’s new hope after Russell Wilson era

The Nix hype train isn’t just chugging along – it’s picking up steam faster than a two-minute drill orchestrated by Peyton Manning in his prime. According to Adam Schefter as he stated in April, “Payton feels as strongly about Bo Nix as he did Mahomes.”


Article continues below this ad

This excitement is a stark contrast to the Russell Wilson saga, a blockbuster that turned into a box office flop faster than you can say ‘Let’s Ride’. Just a year ago, Payton was singing Wilson’s praises, calling him a “real good off-schedule player.” Fast forward to 2024, and Wilson’s now trying to revive his career in Pittsburgh while Nix is the talk of the town in Denver.

But amid all the excitement, there’s a voice of reason cutting through the Mile High air. Former NFL QB Chris Simms cautioned in May, “My only worry is that Sean puts too much on him early on.” It’s a valid concern–nobody wants to see a promising rookie crushed under expectations.

The Broncos seem to be heeding this advice, crafting a quarterback room that’s part classroom, part competition. Nix is currently battling it out with Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson, with all three getting a shot at first-team reps. As Payton put it to pressors last month, “We rotate. We’re rotating all of them right now.” But make no mistake, Nix is the odds-on favorite to start Week One, sitting at -400 according to DraftKings.com.


Article continues below this ad

As Nix prepares for his NFL journey, he’s not just relying on his talents. He’s soaking up knowledge from NFL legend Philip Rivers. “He has a lot of knowledge, a lot more than I have,” Nix humbly admitted last month, showing the kind of eagerness to learn that could make him the next great chapter in Denver’s storied quarterback legacy.

As the 2024 season approaches, all eyes will be on Nix. Can he live up to the Brees comparisons? Will he be Payton’s new Mahomes? Or will he forge his path to greatness, leading the Broncos back to the promised land? One thing’s for sure – in Denver, the buzz around Bo Nix is louder than the roar of 76,000 fans after a playoff-clinching touchdown at Mile High.