The Broncos need to nail the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to improve their roster. Avoiding these three prospects is crucial for Denver.
The biggest offseason question the Broncos need to answer is whether or not Drew Lock will get one more season to prove he can be the team’s starting quarterback of the future. That decision should dictate a lot of Denver’s decisions during the draft. No matter which direction they choose to go at quarterback, it’s imperative that the Broncos nab a potential star with their first round pick.
The big issue facing the team is that the No. 8 pick probably isn’t high enough to nab one of the top three signal-callers in this year’s class. If the Broncos want to nab Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, or Zach Wilson they likely need to trade up.
The more prudent course of action might be to address another pressing roster need in Round 1 before circling back for a quarterback on Day 2. Denver could even entertain the idea of trading back into the end of Day One’s festivities to get a player capable of pushing Lock right away.
Assuming the Broncos elect to stay put, they need to avoid the temptation of selecting style over substance. Avoiding these three prospects will be a challenge for Denver’s front office, but the success of their draft may well depend on their ability to make a relatively boring selection in Round 1.
3. Caleb Farley, DB, Virginia Tech
It’s easy to understand why the Broncos would be interested in selecting a top cornerback with the No. 9 pick. A.J. Bouye is getting paid a lot of money, but he failed to play like a No. 1 cornerback in 2020. His PFF grade of just 55.6 on the season illustrates the reality that he was a below-average starter in 2020. Things at the other cornerback spot weren’t much better for Vic Fangio’s defense.
Some scouts believe Farley is the best corner available in this year’s class because of his ball skills. He did notch four interceptions for Virginia Tech in 2019 before opting out of the 2020 campaign.
That’s a misevaluation. The clear No. 1 corner in this class is Patrick Surtain. If the Broncos want to strengthen their secondary in Round 1 they must opt for the Alabama defensive back over his Hokie counterpart. Choosing Farley over Surtain could cost the Broncos a decade of Pro Bowl-caliber play at the cornerback position.