Denver Broncos: Sam Darnold trade impact on George Paton’s plan

Denver Broncos offseason: QB #14 Sam Darnold Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos offseason: QB #14 Sam Darnold Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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Justin Fields, Denver Broncos, 2021 NFL Draft
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Justin Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 NFL Draft

If you are a Denver Broncos fan that is holding out hope for George Paton to go for a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, the field has certainly been weeded out a bit.

As a matter of fact, the road in front of the Denver Broncos to getting one of the top-five quarterbacks has been pretty well paved.

1. Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence
2. Jets: Zach Wilson
3. 49ers: Mac Jones/Justin Fields/Trey Lance
4. Falcons: QB or Kyle Pitts
5. Bengals: OT, Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase
6. Dolphins: WR or Kyle Pitts
7. Lions: Non-QB
8. Panthers: Non-QB

Which teams would trade in front of the Denver Broncos at this point? You could argue the New England Patriots (15), Washington Football Team (19), and Chicago Bears (20) as legitimate options to do exactly that.

The tricky part for those teams at this point is finding a trade fit.

The Falcons and Bengals may not want to move down as far as 15 or further, passing on players who could help them right now. The Falcons may want a quarterback themselves.

The Dolphins already moved back up after moving down. They likely have a couple of players (at least three) in mind that they would take at pick six and stay there to do it.

The Lions won’t likely trade with the Bears, but they are undoubtedly a spot at pick seven that should be considered open for business. It would not be shocking for them to move down to 15 or 19.

Barring a bold move up by the Patriots or Washington, it seems the road has been cleared for the Denver Broncos to take the best QB available at pick number nine if that’s what they decide to do.

The question now is — if George Paton likes a guy enough to pick him at nine, does he love him enough to move up and get him a couple of picks earlier?

If not, that obviously bodes well for Drew Lock.