Denver Broncos: 3 key stories to watch leading up to the NFL Draft
By Noah Smith
As the NFL Draft inches closer, the Denver Broncos are settling their final plans for the draft. While Broncos Country waits patiently for Thursday, April 29th, three key stories could dictate what George Paton does in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Paton has passed his first free agency test with flying colors for the Broncos. Now, his focus turns to the draft, Paton’s primary source of team building.
With the draft just under two weeks away, many questions surround the Broncos and their potential plans for the draft. The top of the draft is loaded with talent, and the Broncos will have a chance to add an impact player early.
While we wait for the draft, here are three key stories to follow for the Broncos:
1. How much faith do the Denver Broncos have in Drew Lock’s development?
The 2020 NFL season was Drew Lock’s year to shine. With new weapons around him in Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, along with a new play-caller in Pat Shurmur, Lock had every opportunity to prove that he was the guy.
That was, until COVID-19 altered the NFL’s offseason plans, and forced teams to do critical work from online calls and Zoom meetings.
2020 was a year to forget for all of us, especially Lock and the Broncos. With a full year in Shurmur’s scheme under his belt, we should expect Lock to look more comfortable in year three for him.
Adding onto another year of stability, Lock has reportedly been working with “The Sheriff”, Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning can certainly teach Lock a thing or two about the NFL game, and how to maximize his opportunity as a quarterback in the NFL.
However, despite the improved circumstances for Lock, the big question is whether or not Paton and the front office believe in him and his development.
Lock will face his greatest test of trust this offseason with the Broncos. With Paton stepping in as the general manager, he may decide to move in a different direction at quarterback.
The 2021 NFL Draft class is top-heavy with quarterback talent, and the Broncos are in a position to potentially move up if they fall in love with “The Guy”.
Rumors have swirled that the Broncos could be interested in a quarterback if the right one falls past the top three picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. If Paton wants to make a splash in year one as general manager, swinging the bat on a quarterback prospect certainly fits the bill.
So, the question must be asked: How much faith do the Broncos have in Lock’s development? Will Lock’s hard work with Peyton Manning pay off for him? We’ll have an answer by the end of April.