The Denver Broncos enter the 2021 offseason with a lot of questions they need answers to and the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Denver, who finished the 2020 season with a 5-11 record, will look to bounce back with some crucial pieces they could select in this year’s NFL Draft.
The Broncos have some solid young players in wide receiver Courtland Sutton, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, and tight end Noah Fant and they could look to snag some additional help to beef up their team to contend with the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders.
Drew Lock has been up and down in his two years as an NFL signal caller and the Broncos have already been vocal about bringing in a veteran player to help mentor him and compete for the starting job. The Broncos are way too talented not to be contending for the playoffs and John Elway is trying to add as much talent as possible before their playoff window closes for a while.
The Broncos could explore a plethora of avenues with their ninth overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they need to be wise with the player they do pick.
Here’s a look at four players the Broncos should consider with the No. 9 overall pick in round one.
Kwity Paye, DL, Michigan
The Broncos need to put the majority of their focus on revamping their defense and adding a versatile defensive tackle like Kwity Paye could be a step in the right direction. Paye, 22, spent the past four years playing for the University of Michigan and was a force to be reckoned with on that defensive line.
In four seasons with the Wolverines, Paye recorded 97 total tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, one pass defended, and one forced fumble. While those numbers don’t really seem to pop out on paper, keep in mind that Paye was putting up these numbers while often times being double teamed at the line of scrimmage.
Paye would provide a huge upgrade to the Denver defensive line who could be losing a few pieces this offseason. Elway will need to fix his defense if he hopes to get back in playoff contention a year from now and adding Paye to the mix could help him do just that.
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Micah Parsons is the best linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft and the Broncos could draft him with the No. 9 overall pick this year. Parsons, 21, has some attitude problems, but that will not be enough to prevent Elway from pulling the trigger on the young stud.
Despite some of the big names still on the Denver defense, the organization needs to realize they have lost their swagger recently. Adding a young spark to the defense like Parsons would help rejuvenate the defense and could put them back in contention in 2021.
In two seasons at Penn State, Parsons lit up the stat sheet. Parsons accumulated 191 total tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovered, and five passes defended in those two seasons. Parsons has the ability to make every tackle, and he has the ability to make those tackles count. Adding Parsons to the Denver defense could be all the team needs to get back on track in 2021.
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Caleb Farley is a cornerback who spent his college career suiting up for Virginia Tech. Farley, 22, is projected to be a top two cornerback off the board in April’s draft and the Denver Broncos are in prime position to make that happen.
The Broncos are desperately in need of a cornerback to help out AJ Bouye when he comes back from suspension and Farley could be the perfect fit. Farley, in two seasons at Virginia Tech, logged 56 total tackles, 19 passes defended, one sack, and six interceptions.
Farley is excellent at both man and zone coverage, but he does get a bit grabby at times. If he can fine tune his active hands, he could be one of the bright young cornerbacks throughout the future of the NFL.
Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
If the Denver Broncos are unable to get Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech, they could opt to go after a different cornerback in Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. Surtain is a very physical and lengthy cornerback who has a nose for the football and doesn’t mind making a big hit here and there either.
Surtain’s father played in the NFL from 1998 through 2008 and made three trips to the Pro Bowl along the way. Surtain Sr. has been sure to make sure his son is ready for the NFL and it will be appealing to general managers that Surtain II will already know how to conduct himself as a professional.
Surtain II had a great college career at Alabama and his stat sheet shows it. In three seasons with the Crimson Tide, Surtain II recorded 116 total tackles, six tackles for a loss, 24 passes defended, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovered, four interceptions, and one defensive touchdown.
The Broncos could snag a steal at pick No. 9 if Surtain falls to them and they would be crazy to pass on a cornerback of his caliber.