Sean Payton shares confident endorsement of ex-Oregon and Auburn football star Bo Nix

Denver Broncos Mandatory Minicamp
Denver Broncos Mandatory Minicamp / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Sean Payton knew of Bo Nix's exploits at Oregon and with (to a lesser degree) the Auburn football program, but he's now confirmed that he's seeing all of that play out during the Denver Broncos' offseason practices.

"There was a lot made of his offense. I’ve heard it a million times," Payton said on Jay Glazer's Unbreakable podcast (h/t Mile High Huddle). "‘He led college football with the most quick throws.’ We got it. We understand all that. Then, when we analytically remove all the quick throws from every quarterback, he was still first in his class, first in his class, first in his class, accuracy, touchdowns-to-interceptions—all these recordables. Sacks… the guy gets rid of the ball. There’s so many things that we kept seeing on tape. And then we saw down-the-field arm talent. We’re seeing it right now."

Nix has been neck and neck with fellow former Tiger Jarrett Stidham in the Broncos backfield, with the veteran potentially holding a slight edge to be named the starter at this point due to his NFL experience and familiarity with Payton's playbook from the 2023 season.

Jarrett Stidham beating out Bo Nix a victory for portion of Auburn football fans

There's a portion of the Auburn fanbase who will never support Nix again; seeing him as more of a Duck than a Tiger after he left the program in November 2021 when it was nearly the deepest darkness AU would experience before the dawn.

Nix admitting he was miserable under Bryan Harsin and acting on it shouldn't be seen as a shot at Auburn, which he always dreamed of playing. But to many, it is, and that will likely never change.

So Stidham beating him out, fresh off his two best years at Oregon, would be a petty personal victory to many -- especially after Stidham had to wait behind Derek Carr with the Las Vegas Raiders and Russell Wilson in the Mile High City the past two years.

And it seems possible at this point.