Denver Broncos NFL Draft: 1st-rounders George Paton saw at pro days

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Justin Fields. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Justin Fields. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Denver Broncos, Zach Wilson
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft prospect Zach Wilson. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

New Denver Broncos general manager George Paton has wasted very little time putting his mark on the franchise and how he wants to build the team.

Up next, the 2021 NFL Draft.

To this point in the 2021 offseason, Paton has addressed every key area on the Denver Broncos’ roster except for one — the quarterback position.

Drew Lock, the incumbent starter and 2019 second-round pick, did not play up to standard over the course of the entire 2020 season, but he showed flashes amidst his early struggles before settling in over the final five or six games of the season and playing much more efficient ball.

After watching him on tape and conferring with the coaching staff, it’s become abundantly clear that Paton likes Lock a fair amount more than people thought he might after Lock threw 15 interceptions last season.

Paton passed on the veteran free agent market. He didn’t pay the required price to get Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions. He made only exploratory calls on Sam Darnold. He wasn’t in on Carson Wentz.

Based on the number of options Paton has passed on at this point, it’s become clear that he’s willing to ride out the 2021 season with Drew Lock as his starting quarterback unless the right situation presents itself in the 2021 NFL Draft.

And that brings us to the subject of this post — Paton’s pre-draft pro day circuit.

Paton got his feet on the ground for a number of pro days across the country, including some involving sure-fire first-round picks.

Which players with first-round price tags has he seen and what would their fit be with the Denver Broncos?

Let’s take a look.

1. Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

We’ll mention Zach Wilson rather quickly, because there’s no chance he’s going to be a member of the Denver Broncos.

Wilson had a huge year in 2020 with BYU after having shoulder surgery before the 2019 season, completing nearly 74 percent of his passes and becoming the apple of the New York Jets’ eye.

Wilson is bound for the Big Apple after his huge 2020 campaign and he will almost undoubtedly be the no. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Paton got to see him throw at a wildly successful pro day in person, but he also got a chance to see a potential developmental right tackle in Brady Christensen as well as a possible late-round player at receiver in Dax Milne, whom the Broncos have had previously reported interest in as well.