The Denver Broncos could be a sneaky team when it comes to the cornerback class in 2021.
It’s mock draft season and ESPN’s Todd McShay released his latest mock draft this week and had the Denver Broncos selecting Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. There are so many ways the Broncos could go if they stand pat with the ninth overall pick and if there is a run on quarterbacks early it could leave them with a chance to go after some of the top players at other positions.
9. Denver Broncos
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
Our first defensive player checks in at No. 9. Depending on what GM George Paton thinks of QB Drew Lock, Justin Fields could be in play — as could a trade back with another QB-needy franchise. But Surtain is instinctive and a natural playmaker, and the Broncos’ 2020 opponents had an 86.3 QBR when targeting receivers. Even after bringing in Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller, cornerback sticks out as a position seeking impact players. (Fuller is on a one-year deal.)
That last bit about Kyle Fuller being on a one-year deal is why cornerback remains a position the Denver Broncos could target early in the 2021 NFL Draft. I feel like quarterback is still the position that must be addressed before the season, but any move that helps transition this defense to the youth side of things will also be important.
If there were a run on quarterbacks early, the Broncos could be in play to select one of the top offensive linemen, top edge rushers, and/or top cornerbacks in the class. It could be a premier trade down scenario, but in that situation I would rather Denver go get an elite talent at another position to continue to build the roster. Surtain would fit the bill there for sure.
The only part of this mock that I absolutely hated was the fact that McShay had the Broncos skip on picking quarterback Justin Fields in favor of having the New England Patriots jump up a few spots later to get him. In my view, there is no freaking way the Broncos pass on Fields if he falls to them with the ninth overall pick. That part of his mock had me feeling like he just wanted the Patriots to get their quarterback of the future and made excuses to make it happen. However, if Fields goes before the ninth pick then this mock would make more sense to me.