Radio Row is one place every year that generates a lot of buzz prior to NFL free agency, and Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton found himself in Las Vegas on Friday for a media tour. Payton addressed a potential timeline for a decision on Russell Wilson and dished his thoughts on the rumors surrounding Denver and the NFL Draft.

Denver Broncos decision on Russell Wilson coming sooner rather than later

Broncos head coach Sean Payton made his rounds on Friday around Radio Row in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl 58 on Sunday. Payton sat down with Kay Adams as part of her Up and Adams Show hosted by FanDuel.

Adams asked Payton how the experience with Wilson ends for him and the team.

“Fair question,” Payton said. “I think this. It used to be in our league where there was no free agency. You’d have a draft, three rookies would beat out three veterans, and you took the same team to the regular season that you had the year before. It’s much different now. I think when the season ends for these teams, we take our puzzle and flip it upside down, and all the pieces get spread out again. We look at the salary cap, we look at where we’re at with our own free agents, we look at whose in the draft, where we pick, how many draft picks we have, and we begin this puzzle again. I really believe that. This idea that we’re going to pick up from where we left off that’s all BS. That’s not the case.”

Payton and the Broncos aren’t running it back with how things were last season, which should be a promising sign in the eyes of a fanbase. There are some changes that need to be made, and Payton himself has acknowledged the ones he has to make personally.

So where does that leave the Broncos with Russ?

“We start draft meetings on Monday,” Payton said. “Everything you’ve heard and read about us, ‘Oh, we’re going to trade up, trade down.’ I can’t tell you the jersey numbers of these rookie quarterbacks. We haven’t even seen them yet. So our plan, to do this thing the right way is to really assess the quarterback position. Are we going to be able to find it in the draft, are we going to find it in free agency, or is it in the building? I think that decision is going to happen quicker than later relative to Russ.”

Much of the discussions surrounding the strategy of the Denver Broncos moving forward begins on Monday, where Payton noted that he, the scouting department, general manager George Paton, and his coaching staff will be having 10-hour draft meetings.

As it pertains to the draft and whether or not the Broncos will have an eye on any of the quarterbacks when they’re on the clock at 12, Payton indicated that they have to have a conviction about a player if they are going to take him, versus on relying on what experts think the team should do.

“If we like one of these guys a lot, then I’m unconcerned where people think we should draft them,” Payton said. Adams followed it up by asking if Payton was looking to fall in love with a quarterback, to which he responded yes.

This is important to understand, especially as we inch closer and closer to mock draft mania. Fans and experts alike engage in the fun exercise, but it never truly accounts for what might happen during the draft itself.

Payton doesn’t seem concerned with who or what position experts or media members think he should take but is more invested in evaluating the team where it’s at, the positional needs, and whether or not the outlook of a potential player is something he feels will help the team thrive.

This is the first trust fall exercise that Broncos Country will have to have hope in when it comes to Payton, the organization, and potentially the biggest decision he’ll have to make yet as it regards to the future quarterback of the franchise.