ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With their first Day 3 pick, the Broncos added depth to the safety position.
Denver selected Texas safety Caden Sterns with the 152nd-overall pick in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
"I'm thankful, and I'm glad to be a part of the program and to be a Denver Bronco," Sterns said Saturday. "I look up to Justin Simmons and I watch his film all the time. To be able to learn from him is going to mean a lot."
Sterns, a three-year starter for the Longhorns, recorded 172 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, 13 passes defensed and five interceptions during his 29 career games with Texas.
"I have range, I make plays on the ball and I can cover," Sterns said. "I think I'm really versatile as well. I can come down and play man, I can play one-high or two-high, and I can just be around the ball. An inconsistency of mine is tackling. That's something that I'm definitely working on all the time. That is something that I need to clean up to become a complete safety."
Sterns was a first-team All-Big 12 player in 2018 and was the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. He recorded four interceptions that season but just one over the final years of his career.
"[He] had a good season or two early in his career, not as good this past season," Head Coach Vic Fangio said Saturday after the draft. "So he slipped a little bit. But we're hopeful that we can get him turned back around and playing up to his potential and his ability."
Asked about that, Sterns said he was determined to improve from that dip.
"It could be due to the role, and I just wasn't playing how I should have played," said Sterns about why his production declined. "I just have to get better, and I will continue to get better."
Sterns opted out of the final two games of 2020 due to a toe injury.
"My decision to opt out was based off of the fact that I had a toe injury that I was dealing with," Sterns said. "I wanted to get it cleared up and fixed before the pro day happened so that teams could see me at 100 percent."
The 6-foot, 202-pound player will provide depth behind Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson.
Jackson re-signed with Denver on a one-year deal.
Get to know one of the newest Broncos, former Texas safety Caden Sterns, with photos from his time at the collegiate level and during his preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft.