2021 NFL Draft: Broncos get USC star in B/R mock draft

B/R has the Denver Broncos selecting a star USC player in their latest mock draft.

The Denver Broncos traded a seventh-round pick to the Titans for defensive tackle Jurrell Casey this offseason, but Bleacher Report has given the team another USC prospect at the same position in their latest 2021 NFL mock draft.

Jake Rill projected the Broncos to have the 18th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, selecting USC defensive tackle Jay Tufele.

Questions still remain regarding what the team’s biggest need(s) will be going forward. The Broncos addressed a number of those needs in this year’s draft, as well as free agency, but as you may realize, things don’t always work out the way a team expects them to.

I fully expect Casey’s tenure with the Broncos to work out, but it would be smart to add another guy into the mix.

The Broncos did add McTelvin Agim to the roster via the draft, and also have Shelby Harris (though he plays at defensive end as well).

Would Jay Tufele be a smart pick for the Broncos?

Tufele has only played two seasons but has recorded 65 tackles, 11 of those for a loss of yards. He also has 7.5 sacks, which is not a bad number for a defensive tackle.

As highlighted by his tackles for loss total, he is more of a run defender.

Out of 130 collegiate teams in 2019, USC ranked 64th in rushing yards allowed per game.

Whether or not Tufele would be a good pick for the Broncos partially depends on how they feel about their other defensive linemen. As it stands right now, they’re looking at several defensive linemen potentially hitting the free agent market in 2021:

  • Shelby Harris
  • Mike Purcell
  • DeMarcus Walker
  • Joel Heath
  • Christian Covington
  • Kyle Peko
  • Jonathan Harris

That is a lot of names at one position that could leave the team. Purcell, Shelby Harris, and Walker each did quite well for the Broncos in 2019. I would think that the Broncos would look to try to re-sign them. If not, it would become a need for the team.

Next: Denver Broncos: 4 veterans who will enter training camp squarely on roster bubble

It will be interesting to see whether or not the Broncos do go defensive tackle with their first-round pick. The first-round pick would need to be an instant-impact player. With the current rotation the team has at the position, I’m not sure that this would be the right move.