DENVER — Following the conclusion of Week 17, the Broncos have earned the ninth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Broncos' loss to the Raiders on Sunday left Denver with a 5-11 record in 2020, which matched the records of the Lions and Panthers. The Broncos hold the highest strength of schedule, which places Denver behind Detroit and Carolina in the draft order.
The Broncos have made the ninth selection just once since the merger, when they chose running back Otis Armstrong in 1973. The two-time Pro Bowl player spent eight seasons in Denver.
In more recent years, several talented players have been chosen with the ninth-overall pick.
Luke Kuechly, Tyron Smith, Kevin Williams and Brian Urlacher are all former ninth-overall picks since 2000 to earn multiple first-team All-Pro selections.
Denver's ninth-overall pick is the highest of any AFC West team. The Chargers will pick 13th, while the Raiders will pick 17th. The Chiefs' draft pick has yet to be determined.
Several of the Broncos' 2021 opponents are slated to add talented players ahead of Denver. The Jaguars and Jets are scheduled to pick first and second, respectively. The Broncos will face both teams in 2021.
The Bengals and Eagles will also pick in the top six picks and will each make trips to Denver in 2021.