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.
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.
Todd McShay, ESPN: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Cornerback is another position to watch, especially with Alabama's Patrick Surtain II still out there. But I love Owusu-Koramoah's range, instincts and suddenness.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
I think Farley is incredibly talented and he fills a need for Vic Fangio's defense.
Danny Kelly, The Ringer: CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Surtain fits the bill as an instant-impact contributor, bringing the skill set to quickly emerge as a shutdown cornerback. In a division with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, Denver simply needs more guys who can cover.
Dane Brugler, The Athletic: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech
Although he is still learning the position, Farley has a Pro Bowl ceiling due to his athleticism, length and natural ball instincts.
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.
Josh Edwards, CBS Sports: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
Denver capitalizes on the quarterback rush and takes one of the best talents available regardless of position. Micah Parsons went from a bit overrated to underrated nationally.
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan
Paye is a freak of nature and has quickly shot up draft boards. It's hard not to think about a combination of Ziggy Ansah and Jason Pierre-Paul in that sense.
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.
Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com: DE Gregory Rousseau, Miami
Gregory Rousseau logged double-digit sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2019. He was compared to Calais Campbell entering Miami.
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: QB Mac Jones, Alabama
This all comes down to how the front office feels about Drew Lock, who has struggled with consistency during his two years in the NFL. Jones doesn't have Lock's arm strength or athleticism, but he does everything else really, really well.
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.