In his latest 2021 NFL mock draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein has the Denver Broncos selecting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the ninth overall pick in the first round.
Here is Zierlein’s commentary with the selection:
Now that the Broncos have added Kyle Fuller at cornerback, their biggest area of concern becomes consistency at quarterback. Adding Fields would be a bold move, but potentially a necessary one for team growth.
It’s true that cornerback is no longer a glaring need for Denver, but it’s hard to imagine Fields falling all the way to No. 9. Zierlein’s mock has fellow QBs Trevor Lawrence (No. 1), Zach Wilson (No. 2) and Trey Lance (No. 4) all going off the board early.
Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II goes off the board right before the Broncos’ pick (No. 8) and Zierlein has Denver passing on West Virginia defensive back Caleb Farley (No. 14).
Landing any of the top four QBs in this year’s draft would be exciting for Broncos fans, but there’s a possibility that none of them will be available at No. 9. Zierlein has Alabama’s Mac Jones going off the board at No. 15.
Zierlein’s mock has Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah falling to No. 17, Tulsa’s Zaven Collins falling to No. 19 and Penn State’s Micah Parsons to No. 29. All three linebackers would make sense for Denver if the Broncos look to target a linebacker in the first round.
To read Zierlein’s complete first-round NFL mock draft, visit NFL.com.