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Mile High Morning: Broncos' late-draft picks get some love from national media


The Lead

While the Broncos' Day 1 and Day 2 picks have gotten most of the attention since the end of the 2021 NFL Draft, you can't simply overlook the players they picked in the final three rounds.

Denver has found two Hall of Famers with late-round selections (1990 seventh-rounder Shannon Sharpe and 1995 sixth-rounder Terrell Davis) and even more key pieces that were instrumental in the team's Super Bowl victories (1994 seventh-rounder Tom Nalen, 2012 fifth- and sixth-rounders Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan, respectively, just to name a few).

So it's quite possible that some of the underrated players the Broncos drafted on Day 3 could eventually become starters or even more-acclaimed players.

Two of Denver's picks, safety Jamar Johnson and cornerback Kary Vincent Jr., have already been highlighted as potential steals.

First up is Johnson, a fifth-round pick, selected by Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner for a new ESPN article as one of 10 Day 3 picks that he believes will make an impact.

"[Y]ou won't find too many more productive safeties on a per-play basis in the class," Renner wrote. "On his 406 career coverage snaps, Johnson picked off seven passes and broke up six others. That's elite ball production."

"Athletic and fast, Vincent is a little on the small side but has the hips and feet to match movements with most route-runners, if he can get his technique figured out," Zierlein wrote. "The LSU corner, who opted out of the 2020 season, is more athlete than pure cornerback right now, but he's also more talented than his draft slotting would indicate."

Below the Fold

Looking at the fantasy football impact that this class of rookies may have, The Ringer’s Dan Comer ranked Broncos RB Javonte Williams No. 7, though playing behind Melvin Gordon III in 2021 may make him a more significant option in dynasty leagues. "Williams, the highest-rated college running back in PFF history, led the FBS in broken tackles last season and has a strong argument for being the top dynasty running back in this class," Comer wrote.

The Unclassifieds

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