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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Dillon Radunz, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Dillon Radunz. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

2nd round — Remaining picks

Finally, the Denver Broncos appease those who have had a megaphone in everyone’s ear for the last umpteen years strictly to shout about the team’s need for an off-ball linebacker who can do a little bit of everything.

While Baron Browning is not exactly a converted safety out there in coverage, he is one of the most fascinating players to watch at the linebacker because he is so effective playing both off the ball as well as off the edge.

With his explosiveness as a pass rusher and range when he’s playing the more traditional off-ball positions, Browning could be the ideal fit at linebacker for the Broncos in this draft class because they have a need for some more juice in the pass rush as well as a possible long-term starter at inside linebacker.

With the third second-round pick in this mock draft scenario, the Denver Broncos land a long-term starter at the right tackle position to bookend with Garett Bolles.

Incidentally, a pick like this could protect the Broncos in case things go sour with Ja’Wuan James or if Garett Bolles struggles after getting a big contract.

I don’t expect the latter to happen, but when is the last time a team could really count on James for any real length of time?

Radunz was a star at the Senior Bowl after basically not playing this past season (North Dakota State’s season was one “showcase” game due to COVID-19).

It wouldn’t be a shock nor would it be unwelcome for Radunz to seize a starting role as a rookie in the NFL. He has the toughness to take his lumps and excel along the way. Since 2017, the Broncos have assembled some impressive home-grown talent on the offensive line including Garett Bolles, Dalton Risner, Lloyd Cushenberry, and Netane Muti.

Radunz could come in and be an impact player starting either in 2021 or 2022 and from then on.