ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Paton signed a six-year deal to take over Broncos personnel moves from John Elway, who stepped away from handling the day-to-day grind after the 2020 season. Elway remains the team's president of football operations, but Paton will have full say over the roster.
Elway told reporters earlier this month:
"Looking at the last 10 years, I knew there was going to be a time at some point that this was the position I was hoping to move into. I think it's the right time for me with everything that's gone on this year and being 60 years old. There are some other things in life that I'd like to do, but I'd still like to be involved with football."
Paton most recently served as the Vikings' vice president of player personnel and Rick Spielman's assistant general manager in Minnesota. The two previously worked together with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins before heading to the Vikings.
Paton is respected as an identifier of young talent. He worked in the Bears front office in their scouting department and was then the Dolphins' director of pro personnel.
The Broncos have a promising group of young talent on both sides of the ball, with Elway stocking the pass-catching cupboards in recent seasons. However, Elway struggled with identifying quarterback talent. The Broncos have been near the bottom of the NFL in passing efficiency since Peyton Manning's retirement following the 2015 season.
Paton's first order of business will be deciding whether to continue with the development of Drew Lock or to identify his own quarterback to build around.