The Denver Broncos opened up Thursday’s OTA practice to the media in Dove Valley to observe the start of the team’s upcoming quarterback competition featuring Bo Nix, Jarrett Stidham, and Zach Wilson. No winner will be crowned just yet, but overall the QBs had a solid day.

Denver Broncos QB competition begins

The first week of OTAs have officially wrapped up, with players set to return next week for round two. Thursday’s practice was the first session that was made available for media to watch and overall, the vibe in Dove Valley feels much different compared to last year.

All eyes are on the Broncos three quarterbacks as Bo Nix, Jarrett Stidham, and Zach Wilson continue to compete for the team’s starting job for Week 1 against the Seattle Seahawks in September. There is a lot of time between now and then and Broncos head coach Sean Payton doesn’t believe that people should read anything into the amount of reps or order the QBs go in the rotation.

“We try to get them as many reps as possible,” Payton said. “We’re rotating all of them right now. So Tuesday, ‘Stiddy’ (QB Jarrett Stidham) ran with the ones, then [QB] Zach [Wilson], and then [QB] Bo [Nix]. We’ll keep doing that right now.”

Each QB had a solid day of practice between Nix, Stidham, and Wilson. Nix faced pressure on several occasions and what impressed me about his performance on the afternoon was that he anticipated and maneuvered against the pressure and maintained his poise in the pocket.

Stidham and Wilson also had similar days, but Wilson did have an interception on the afternoon. Much of social media is going to be on the lookout for scorecards and analyzing who won the day, but let’s keep things in perspective.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint and the ‘competition’ isn’t going to be won or lost during OTAs or training camp.

Payton shared his praise of Nix and how he’s picked up the offense so far.

“He’s farther along than most,” Payton said.  “We’re talking about a player who has played 61 games. He’s extremely smart. He’s picked it up very quickly.”

He shared similar praise for Wilson.

“I like his experience,” Payton said. “You can tell he’s played, and I feel like he has very live arm strength. He’s picking up the offense pretty quickly.”

Standouts from Thursday’s practice

Several names stood out from Thursday’s practice on offense and defense.

Offensively, tight end Lucas Krull and wide receiver Josh Reynolds were two names who made several plays on the afternoon.

Krull arguably had the best overall day at practice, hauling in several passes in the short to intermediate range, a contested catch up the field vertically, and demonstrated great focus in tracking the football.

His size and speed are two of the most impressive traits, which have given him an advantage to make explosive plays. After practice, Payton showered him with praise.

“I thought he’s had a good week,” Payton said. “I said, ‘If you didn’t notice, everyone in the media was looking down at their rosters to see who [No.] 85 was.’ I said, ‘Someday soon, they’re going to know who 85 is.’ He’s looking sharp.”

Reynolds was consistent across the board on the afternoon, hauling in several passes on the afternoon, including one where he adjusted his body on a throw that was a bit behind him, securing it while two defenders closed in.

“He’s long,” Payton said. “He has strong hands. Another veteran receiver. I like that group, and if you study it closely, it’s big across the board, and it has speed. So there’s going to be heavy competition there, heavy competition at running back. The same in the backend with the secondary. I think there’s that old saying, ‘iron sharpens iron,’ and I feel like that’s going to happen.”

Certainly, it isn’t just the QBs who are competing, and that makes for an exciting summer filled with various positional storylines for the Denver Broncos.