Denver Broncos: Complete 7-round 2021 NFL mock draft

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Micah Parsons (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Micah Parsons (Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /
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Micah Parsons, Denver Broncos
Penn State linebacker, Denver Broncos 2021 draft prospect Micah Parsons. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

For the last however many months, I’ve been saying the Denver Broncos need to avoid here in this postPenn State’s Micah Parsons. The reasons for that have been outlined with a list of players I would try to avoid if I were George Paton.

So why the change of heart here?

Well, it feels like the Denver Broncos have potentially cleared Parsons and have him on their board at this point. Not that Paton was only there to see Parsons, but he and Brian Stark attended the Penn State pro day and so far, nobody with any substantial connections to the team has disonnected Parsons, and there would undoubtedly be people who knew at this point if Parsons were off the Broncos’ board.

To defend Parsons somewhat, another teammate that was alleged to have involvement in the same events at Penn State that Parsons is alleged to have been part of is Carolina Panthers defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos. Gross-Matos was a borderline first-round pick in 2020 who ended up going very early in round two to the Carolina Panthers.

Essentially, his 2020 NFL Draft stock was unaffected by the same allegations people have been referencing with Parsons.

In a trade-down scenario, it’s hard to deny the value of a player like Parsons. This is a guy who, if football is the only subject of discussion, is probably the best defensive player in the draft, and he’s done the majority of his awesome work playing mostly with instinct and athleticism.

As he gets coached up and is able to pick up on nuances of the game, this is a guy that could really be a superstar at the next level.

My idea with the Denver Broncos and Parsons? Let him come off the edge primarily.

The Broncos were apparently interested earlier in the 2021 offseason at the idea of bringing in Leonard Floyd. What that would have meant for Von Miller is unknown, but the Broncos’ future beyond 2021 off the edge is somewhat murky.

Heck, at off-ball linebacker, it’s fairly murky as well.

Von Miller, Alexander Johnson, and Josey Jewell are all slated for free agency in 2022.

Micah Parsons is a defensive end who converted to off-ball linebacker, but he still got the chance to rush the passer at Penn State and he’s exceptional at it. In today’s NFL, you have to be able to do a little bit of everything if you play any linebacker position, whether you’re coming off the edge or playing the off-ball spot.

Parsons is a guy that you could legitimately play as an inside linebacker on early downs and shift him to the edge in passing downs.

Obviously the off-field is a major question mark for many of us who do not have the resources NFL teams have. Again, if the Denver Broncos have cleared Parsons’ off-field, there’s no question they could draft him in the first round, even at pick number 9 overall.