Denver Broncos: 5 2021 NFL Draft needs and players to watch for

2021 NFL Draft, Denver Broncos, Caleb Farley Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
2021 NFL Draft, Denver Broncos, Caleb Farley Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos, Patrick Surtain II
Potential Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft target Patrick Surtain II. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Denver Broncos: 5 Needs and fits for the 2021 NFL Draft

The Denver Broncos are coming off of their most complete win of the season over the Carolina Panthers. However, it’s never too early to think about the draft, especially with the Broncos expected to miss the playoffs for a fifth straight season.

The 2021 NFL Draft has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball and will serve the Broncos well for filling out the rest of the roster. Most of the Broncos’ needs are set, but one position remains to be seen if the Broncos will invest through the draft: quarterback.

Drew Lock played the best game of his young career against the Panthers and has strung solid performances together dating back to the Broncos’ win over the Miami Dolphins. If Lock finishes the season strong, the Broncos could choose to roll into 2021 with Lock at the helm, or bring in a veteran quarterback hedge.

The Broncos could also choose to invest at quarterback through the draft. The 2021 NFL Draft is loaded with quarterback talent, and if the Broncos do decide to look to the draft for a replacement quarterback would obviously become priority number one on this list. For now, I am rolling with the assumption that Lock will return as the starter.

With that being said, here are my five needs for the Broncos to look at in the draft, and some fits to think about.

1. Cornerback

The Denver Broncos learned a lot about their cornerback room during the 2020 NFL Season. They found out that their investments in Bryce Callahan and Michael Ojemudia were well deserved, as the two will likely enter the 2021 NFL Season as a key part of the Broncos’ plans.

They also continued their incredible streak of finding undrafted players in Essang Bassey, who should be a key part of the team’s future heading forward. However, the Broncos may have also learned that A.J. Bouye was not worth the 4th round compensation sent to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bouye has struggled to stay on the field due to injuries and a recent suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Bouye’s suspension will also affect him starting next season, a huge blow for the Broncos’ secondary should he still be with the team.

While Bouye played well when on the field, it may be wise for the Broncos to move on from Bouye. Doing so will save the Broncos around $13 million dollars in 2021, where the cap space across the NFL will likely be decreasing per Overthecap.

Moving on from Bouye leaves the Broncos with Callahan, Ojemudia, and Bassey as the presumptive starters. However, the NFL Draft does have plenty of high-end talent at the cornerback position for the Broncos to look at.

Adding a cornerback in the first round would increase the talent in the secondary, as well as add depth to a unit that has struggled to stay healthy this season. Here are three cornerbacks the Broncos should look at in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft:

"Caleb Farley– #8 overall player per The Draft Network, “Elite physical tools in terms of size, quickness, speed, strength, length and fluidity. The Hokies showed clear confidence in him given the amount of reps he was left on an island to defend his man with no help.” Patrick Surtain– #7 overall player per TDN, “Surtain II possesses the ideal height/weight/length combination for a player at the position. Remaining very patient, he’s a cornerback prospect that isn’t urgent with getting his hands on wideouts at the line. Instead, he remains patient at the snap and allows receivers to reveal their release/route plans prior to latching on in order to reroute them.” Jaycee Horn– #16 overall player per TDN, “Long and stocky frame that is built for battling x-receivers. Good press coverage skills and technique. Willing to crowd receivers at the release and use his hands to re-route them.”"