As the NFL Draft inches closer, the chatter about who the Broncos might pick in the first round is getting louder. Read on to see which players have been slotted to Denver, which will make the ninth-overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Todd McShay, ESPN: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
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.
Cynthia Frelund, NFL.com: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Denver is in an interesting spot, with the opportunity to trade up or down, depending on the strategy at the QB position. If the team wants to add a first-round QB, Fields is a fit, but a prospect who forecasts to be in the range of a late-first or early second-round pick (that is, in the trade-down range) and who really pops for the Broncos is Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield, who would slot in on the right side of the offensive line.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
They upgraded in a big way at corner in free agency by landing Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby, so it's time up improve the linebacker group. Parsons can be an every-down player. He does have some character questions.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State
Selecting Fields would be a bold — but potentially necessary — move for the team to take the next step.
Adam Rank, NFL.com: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
I know a lot of people will say the Broncos filled their CB need by signing Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency. But A) Fuller's only on a one-year deal, and B) you can never have enough quality corners in this AFC West.
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State [via mock trade to No. 4]
With a young, talent-packed offensive skill group, Denver seems like it's a game-changing QB away from contention. That's where this move—and Fields—would come in. With a strong arm and rare athleticism, he has the talent to put the Broncos over the top.
Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com: ILB Micah Parsons, Penn State
The Broncos have been looking for a stud linebacker for years. They could finally address that need in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: T Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
Slater's pro-day athleticism test results were similar to those of eight-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams. Slater could easily play right tackle for the Broncos to go with Garett Bolles on the left side.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
Jones' strong pocket passing, quick decision-making and ample athleticism should have great appeal to George Paton and John Elway as finally a long-term solution. He can do what's needed to excel in Pat Shurmur's scheme, reuniting with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and also inheriting a top receiving tight end in Noah Fant.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
The Broncos addressed their secondary in free agency so they target the best LB in the class here. Parsons is coming off an impressive pro day and Denver has very little depth at the position.
Nate Davis, USA TODAY: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Exceptionally rangy Parsons fits the mold for a team that addressed its issues at corner during free agency.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: OL Penei Sewell, Oregon
The Broncos would be in prime trade-down mode here, but Sewell is too damn good to pass, especially given the team's giant hole at right tackle.
Seth Galina, Pro Football Focus: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Parsons, who I believe will probably drop a bit in real life, is the pick because the Broncos could use an upgrade at inside linebacker, not that Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell are bad, but because Parsons can be special.
Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State [via mock trade to No. 4]
Justin Fields wowed with his pro day this week and his tape backs up his claim as a top-10 choice.