It was speculated the Denver Broncos would take a rookie quarterback with their first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Broncos have also been all over reports of being interested in obtaining Aaron Rodgers via trade from the Green Bay Packers.
For now, though, Denver is rolling with Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater.
As for the rest of the team, the Broncos are relatively stacked. Outside of the questionable quarterback battle, the offense has the weapons to dominate, while the defense is set for success as well. The front office did a great job of finding youth and depth the roster needed to remain competitive in the AFC West.
With 10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Broncos were able to secure seven players for the defense and special teams. Denver did a terrific job and should have plenty of hype heading into the season.
Here are Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft grades for every pick they made.
1. Patrick Surtain II, CB, 1st round, 9th: A
Patrick Surtain II entered the draft as a top-three cornerback in the class. He’s a physical player who makes his opponents uncomfortable when running routes. The front office has made a few moves in the secondary this offseason, so it’s likely we see Surtain receive solid playing time early on. The front office took a starter who will fit in the scheme perfectly.
2. Javonte Williams, RB, 2nd round, 35th: A
In a surprising trade up to the early second round, the Broncos selected Javonte Williams out of North Carolina. The former Tar Heel has been viewed as the third-best rookie running back of this class, giving the Broncos a massive boost in the run game. With Melvin Gordon due to hit free agency next offseason, Williams is in line to become the focal point of the Broncos’ run game by 2022.
3. Quinn Meinerz, OG, 3rd round, 98th: B+
The Broncos didn’t necessarily need an offensive lineman, but adding solid depth never hurts. Quinn Meinerz comes from a small school but had been rising the rankings throughout the year. He dominated during his time in college and seems ready for the next level. He’ll likely play off the bench to start his career, but he has the potential to be a consistent starter for Denver down the road.
4. Baron Browning, LB, 3rd round, 105th: A-
Inside linebacker was a position of need the front office needed to fill, and they did just that by taking Baron Browning in the third round. Browning is an athletic freak who has a knack for finding the ball. He has all of the potential in the world to be a solid starter in the NFL. Browning will have the pleasure of rotating with the starters to start his career.
5. Caden Sterns, S, 5th round, 152nd: B
The Broncos’ secondary is already rather strong, but they still snagged one of the better safeties available in this draft. Caden Sterns was a good safety during his time at Texas but needs some time to develop. Look for Sterns to play a big role on special teams until he’s ready for a larger role.
6. Jamar Johnson, S, 5th round, 164th: D+
Taking Jamar Johnson right after selecting Caden Sterns was quite the head-scratcher. The Broncos already have a deep safety group, so it’s unclear why they chose Johnson. It’s likely the coaching staff believed he was the best available player on their board and didn’t want to reach for anyone. He’ll have a chance to earn a spot on special teams this year.
7. Seth Williams, WR, 6th round, 219th: C+
Seth Williams is one of those athletic players who should make the roster come September. He was one of Auburn’s more consistent receivers over the years but never broke 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. He’s another player who will likely contribute on special teams thanks to the Broncos’ deep receiving unit.
8. Kary Vincent, CB, 7th round, 237th: D+
The Broncos are hedging their bets after taking Kary Vincent in the seventh round. He’ll have to battle for a spot on the roster, where his best chances to make the team will be on special teams.
9. Jonathon Cooper, LB, 7th round, 239th: C
Jonathon Cooper had a touching video of his old neighborhood congratulating him after being drafted, per uStadium. He played for Ohio State alongside Baron Browning, which bodes well for his chances of making the roster.
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) May 3, 2021
10. Marquiss Spencer, DE, 7th round, 253rd: C
Von Miller isn’t getting any younger. After Miller suffered a season-ending injury last year, the Broncos wanted to find some depth on the edge. Marquiss Spencer likely won’t steal anybody’s job away, but he helps that depth.