Broncos 2021 mock draft: Trading down and stocking on defense

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Baron Browning - USA Today Images
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Baron Browning - USA Today Images /
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Trevon Moehrig, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Trevon Moehrig – Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports /

For the time being, the Denver Broncos have a bunch of needs to address in the 2021 offseason. Prior to the 2021 free agency period, mock draft scenarios for the 2021 NFL Draft might get a little crazy because none of the dust has settled for any of the 32 teams.

New Broncos general manager George Paton said that something he hopes will carry over from his time with the Vikings is accumulating more draft picks like darts in order to have a better shot at hitting a bullseye.

In this mock draft scenario, we’re going to take a look at what the draft could look like if the Broncos do trade down to accumulate picks. How might additional picks change their strategy early on?

In free agency, the Broncos are expected to at least retain safety Justin Simmons even if they need to use the franchise tag to do it. There’s no telling what could happen aside from that at this point, but it’s reasonable to assume that with a bunch of extra picks in the 2021 NFL Draft (the Broncos already have nine), just about any position group is fair game.

What we know for sure at this point is that the secondary in Denver has to be addressed. The Broncos may have a long-term starter at cornerback on their hands in 2020 third-round pick Michael Ojemudia and hopefully a staple at safety in Simmons. What do they have for the long-term besides those guys?

That remains to be seen.

This mock draft includes a projected trade down with the Jaguars (offered in a simulation) that looks like this:

Jaguars get:

  • 9th pick
  • 71st pick

Broncos get:

  • 25th pick
  • 33rd pick
  • 45th pick

Denver Broncos 2021 mock draft (with trade)

After getting a former Biletnikoff Award winner (nation’s best WR) in the 2020 NFL Draft (Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy), the Broncos get the 2020 Jim Thorpe Award winner (nation’s best defensive back) atop their 2021 NFL Draft class in this scenario.

Trevon Moehrig is listed as a safety but that is a disservice to his tremendous versatility.

Moehrig can cover the slot in man coverage and has the athleticism to hang with any type of receiver there. He can play the deep free safety role or he can work in the box.

For the Denver Broncos, he could be a great long-term replacement for what Kareem Jackson currently does for the defense.

Moehrig doesn’t get a ton of love in mock draft machines but he is arguably a top-20 player in this class overall. With his play speed, ability to create turnovers (7 interceptions 2 forced fumbles in three seasons) and ball skills in general, this guy is going to be beloved by NFL teams.

What might endear him even more to NFL clubs? He was voted by his teammates as the best special teams player on the team as a freshman in 2018. This guy gets it. He makes himself indispensable at whatever he’s asked to do.

As coveted as versatility is in today’s NFL, Moehrig’s stock should only continue to rise. Playing in tandem with Justin Simmons in Denver, the Broncos would have a couple of absolute ball hawks at the safety position going forward.