Denver Broncos icon Peyton Manning is thoroughly enjoying the retired life. The Hall of Fame quarterback has kept his retired days busy with commercials, coaching his son's youth football team, and hosting his wildly successful show, Manningcast, on ESPN.

Manning and his family still reside in the Denver area. He frequently attends Broncos, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Avalanche games. He also attends the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame banquet where he awards his 18-88 scholarship to one local high school student athlete each year. The award honors Manning's former Broncos teammate, Demaryius Thomas, who donned the number 88, and who passed away in December 2021.

Even in retirement, Manning loves being a Denver resident and remains a strong supporter of the Broncos. The 2024 NFL Draft will be hosted April 25th, and the Broncos have a very important decision to make with their first-round draft selection. With no starter-worthy quarterback on the roster, many experts have predicted the Broncos will take a quarterback with their first pick. From the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame banquet, Manning told 9News Denver's Mike Klis that he knows head coach Sean Payton and general manager George Paton will make the right decision.

“I'm a big believer in Sean and what he can do. I know he and George have a good plan going into Thursday,” Manning told Klis. “I don’t have any inside knowledge. But I’m pulling hard for the team. Obviously, there’s been some change, some turnover, and that can be exciting. It’s an opportunity for some other guys to have a chance to step up and we’ll see what happens next Thursday.”

Peyton Manning's connection to the 2024 quarterback prospects

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The Broncos are projected to use their first pick on a quarterback in the upcoming draft. This year's quarterback class includes Jayden Daniels, JJ McCarthy, Drake Maye, Michael Penix, and Bo Nix. Even though he is retired, Manning has a connection to many of this year's prospects and even current NFL quarterbacks.

Manning has hosted a football passing academy for many years. Many current NFL quarterbacks used to attend Manning's camp, including some of this year's quarterback draft prospects. So needless to say, he's familiar with some of the guys the Broncos have their eyes on.

“Most of them came to our football camp,” said Peyton Manning. “We have a high school football camp in New Orleans where the college players come and serve as counselors. Penix came two years – he came when he was at Indiana, came at Washington. McCarthy didn’t come but Daniels, Drake Maye, Bo Nix, know all those guys really well. I’ve met Caleb Williams so it’s a good class.”

Manning is just as anxious as everyone else when it comes to the Broncos' first-round pick. Manning was very complimentary of his former campers, and thinks any of them would be a good fit with the Broncos.

“They all do a lot of things well but all have their own unique traits as well,” said Manning. “Any of those guys would be great fits here I think. If they’re available. We’ll see how it shakes out.”