Broncos: Kareem Jackson comes back to join revamped secondary

Kareem Jackson, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kareem Jackson, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Is new Denver Broncos GM George Paton killing the 2021 offseason, or what?

After publicly stating that he was leaving the door open for veteran safety Kareem Jackson to come back, the Broncos’ new GM made moves that apparently convinced him to do just that.

Jackson spent the last two years with the Broncos after signing as a free agent from the Houston Texans in 2019.

Although he played a versatile role in Houston’s defensive backfield since being a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Alabama, he made a full-time transition to the safety position with the Denver Broncos in Vic Fangio’s defense.

In two seasons, Jackson racked up 160 total tackles, five tackles for loss, 14 pass breakups, three interceptions, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and a defensive touchdown against his former team in one of the Broncos’ most impressive games over the past five years.

After signing Justin Simmons to a long-term deal, bringing Ronald Darby in from the Washington Football Team, and signing Kyle Fuller as a cap casualty from the Chicago Bears, the Broncos have revamped and retooled their secondary.

Bringing Jackson back is really the cherry on top of everything.

The 2021 NFL Draft will be even more fascinating now for the Broncos, who have eliminated the majority of their ‘pressing’ needs within one week of the 2021 offseason kicking off.

This is why I wrote on Monday that the quarterback position could be getting a shove up the priority list in the NFL Draft.

George Paton has set up the roster to do anything he wants in the 2021 NFL Draft, regardless. If he likes Lock enough to be the starter and can bring in veteran “competition”, then he could even go with a running back like Najee Harris early on.

If he isn’t confident enough in Lock, he can now allocate assets to move forward for a quarterback he really likes and believes in.

Either way, every move Paton makes continues to wipe out major needs for the team at least for the 2021 season. The Broncos’ roster is not perfect, but they are young and talented at the offensive skill positions, they have a vastly improved offensive line, and the defense looks elite on paper with key players coming in as well as coming back.

Jackson’s return to the secondary gives Vic Fangio a top six in the defensive backfield that would rival any in the league.