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
Surtain didn't have his best season, but he's a true shutdown corner with the instincts to read and reroute receivers.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
The Broncos recently released CB A.J. Bouye, so there's a glaring need at the position. Farley is the best cornerback in the draft.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Coach Vic Fangio knows that he needs more cover corners to contain the high-powered offenses in the AFC West. Surtain is an elite CB with a refined game that could make him a star from Day 1.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
My guess is that we may see the Broncos address linebacker and maybe pass rush in free agency, which would give them the opening to add a big, talented CB like Farley to contend with the division's explosive, young QBs.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
If Drew Lock is the Broncos' starting QB again in 2021, or if the team finds a veteran to compete with Lock instead of drafting one early, then shoring up the defense with a stud like Parsons makes all kinds of sense.
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
After releasing A.J. Bouye last week, Denver needs to start restocking the shelves at the cornerback spot. Grabbing Farley here would go a long way toward that goal: The former Virginia Tech star is an early-impact playmaker with the length, speed, and ball skills to start from Day 1.
Dane Brugler, The Athletic: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
With his blend of size, speed and reaction skills, Farley would be a great fit for what the Broncos are looking for on defense. There might be some rough patches early as he continues to develop, but the natural instincts and tools are why he has Pro Bowl potential.
Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Micah Parsons is a very talented linebacker who gives Vic Fangio another defensive building block. A future with Von Miller is uncertain, but Bradley Chubb should be around for quite some time.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Bryce Callahan was a bright spot in the secondary in 2020 but he, along with four other CBs, will have his contract expire next spring. Farley, who opted out for 2020, is our CB1.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Surtain has the length and SEC experience to be a quality pro for many years, the Broncos have to reconstruct parts of their secondary.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
He opted out last year and has some off-field issues, but he is a playmaking linebacker who would be a big-time upgrade inside for Denver. They also could consider a corner here.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Farley was one of the first top prospects to opt out for his final college season. He has great size and solid all-around coverage skills to the point he can develop into a sound shutdown player.
Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Denver will be interested in using an early selection on a cornerback in the wake of cutting Bouye.
Nick Klopsis, Newsday: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State
Trey Lance has excellent mobility, a strong arm and ideal size (6-4, 226), but he played only 17 career games against inferior competition at the FCS level.
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
This defense could look very different in Year 3 under Vic Fangio. I thought about a cornerback here, but I see linebacker as the bigger position to upgrade, and Parsons could play inside or outside.
Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Parsons is the best all-around linebacker in the draft, and he would add a three-down presence to the middle of the Denver defense. The Penn State star produced a 94.8 run-defense grade in 2019, second-best of the PFF College era, and he's also one of the best blitzers to come out in recent years.
Nate Davis, USA TODAY: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Vic Fangio's defense relies on OLBs Bradley Chubb and (presumably) Von Miller creating pressure off the edge ... which means you need a pair of capable off-ball backers patrolling behind the line.