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Mile High Morning: Broncos earn A+ in CBS Sports' regrade of 2021 NFL Draft


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Most NFL coaches and front office personnel will say it takes several years before a fair evaluation can be made of a draft pick or draft class.

Well, the requisite amount of time since the Broncos' 2021 draft class has seemingly passed — and Denver received the highest possible marks for its selections.

In a regrade of the 2021 NFL Draft, CBS Sports' Pete Prisco assessed his 2021 draft grades for each class and assigned a new mark for each team. Denver joined Detroit as the only two organizations to receive an A+ grade in Prisco's new assessment.

In the Broncos' 10-pick class — George Paton's first as general manager — Denver found six starting-caliber players. Cornerback Pat Surtain II headlines the group, while running back Javonte Williams, guard Quinn Meinerz and outside linebackers Baron Browning and Jonathon Cooper were all starters in 2023. Safety Caden Sterns, a fifth-round pick, was also expected to be a key contributor before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 1.

"They had 10 picks in the draft, with six of those players scheduled to be starters in 2024," Prisco wrote. "That's a nice haul. The top pick was corner Patrick Surtain [II], who was the ninth player taken. He's one of the best corners in the league."

Prisco was also high on Denver's class in 2021, as he gave the Broncos an A grade.

"I loved the pick of Surtain, who has proven to be well worth it," Prisco wrote of his evaluation. "I liked their draft a lot, which is why they got such a lofty grade."

For the Broncos, this 2021 regrade was worth the wait.

The Unclassifieds

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