Denver Broncos 7-round mock draft: Sifting through latest rumors

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft - Jamin Davis. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft - Jamin Davis. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /
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Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 NFL Draft is just over three weeks away, and new Denver Broncos general manager George Paton has had a chance to get his feet on the ground at a number of major pro days across the country.

Paton has gone north, south, east, and west in a quite literal sense, getting through a circuit (that we know of) including:

  • North Dakota State
  • BYU
  • Ohio State
  • South Carolina
  • Penn State
  • Notre Dame

The Denver Broncos also have had representatives with various scouts or coaches at a number of other pro days across the country, and Paton has shown early on in his tenure as general manager that he has a good relationship with his coaching and scouting staff.

The 2021 NFL Draft effort for the Denver Broncos will undoubtedly be collaborative, but George Paton is instilling his own culture and building the team his way. How will that look come time for the 2021 NFL Draft?

At this particular point in time, there seem to be really two primary directions the Denver Broncos could go.

1. They can continue to load up on picks and set things up for Drew Lock to re-audition in 2021 with more favorable circumstances, or;

2. They can take one of the two quarterbacks left after the top three selections (Jaguars, Jets, 49ers).

At this particular point in time, trading for Sam Darnold remains a possibility. How likely does it feel? In a word, not. You would think if the Denver Broncos wanted Darnold in their program, they would pay the price the Jets wanted in order to acquire him, because acquiring Darnold would likely mean he’s your starter for 2021.

The Denver Broncos’ openness to take a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft does not seem to be getting mistaken by insiders for aggressiveness in pursuit of one of the top-four guys. While it’s entirely possible that George Paton has asked the Atlanta Falcons (4th pick) and Cincinnati Bengals (5th pick) what their asking price to move down a handful of spots would be, he has obviously not been as aggressive as John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, offering multiple first-round picks to get up for a specific guy.

The latest rumors floating around a tight-lipped George Paton operation are exactly what Paton has stated to the media — he likes Drew Lock and likes his potential. Does he like it enough to pass on a Justin Fields or Trey Lance if they are sitting on the board at pick 9? That’s where the rubber would have to meet the road.

For this mock draft scenario, we’re going to look at what could happen if George Paton does some serious wheeling and dealing around the draft board.

After all of the trades, we ended up with eight selections overall, including six in the first three rounds (two in the first, one in the second, three in the third).