Denver Broncos: The 2 smartest directions at ninth pick

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Patrick Surtain. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Patrick Surtain. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

If the Denver Broncos stay in the ninth slot in the 2021 NFL Draft, they should be looking at two positions in particular.

Do you have any guesses as to what positions I am referring to, Broncos Country?

Let’s start off by saying that the Denver Broncos sound like they are going to stay put at nine.

We pretty much know that three quarterbacks are going to go off the board right off the bat, with the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Trevor Lawrence, the Jets taking Zach Wilson, and the 49ers going with either Mac Jones (the hype!), Trey Lance, or Justin Fields.

Let’s say that Lance or Fields falls to the Broncos at 9. Would that be smart?

Nothing is worse than regret. It could be that neither of those options turns out to be the right selection for the Broncos.

So, what seemingly is the right option?

In my opinion, I feel like taking the top cornerback in the class (Patrick Surtain or Jaycee Horn—you choose, Broncos), is the smarter play than taking a rookie quarterback.

The Denver Broncos desperately need help at cornerback. Even though they signed two in Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller, they need a guy who will be around longer. They need a cornerback that is going to be their future top guy for many years.

In 2020, the Broncos were in the middle of the league in terms of passing yards allowed per game with 237.9.

As for the quarterback position, I’m not quite sure which one would exactly be deemed as “the right guy.” Of course, you don’t take a quarterback for the sake of taking a quarterback. They have to fit what you are looking for at the position.

The solution might just be to wait and roll with Drew Lock while bringing in the veteran that has been rumored to be brought in for a number of months. Unfortunately, that clock continues to tick.

The smart play at quarterback might be the veteran route, or continue to roll with Lock another year, as potentially painful as it might be. If the Broncos reach for a quarterback they are not completely comfortable with, they’re missing out on a potential day 1 star at a key position.

So, we’ve talked about the cornerback position; now let’s talk about the other side of the ball and what would be the smart play.

There’s no guarantee that Ja’Wuan James is going to turn things around as a member of the Denver Broncos. That being said, they need to start looking to the future of the right tackle position.

There are two guys who might be around when the Broncos are on the clock at nine: Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater.

It’s hard to go wrong either way here. Sewell has been training at right tackle as of late, after playing at left tackle during his collegiate career at Oregon.

Slater offers versatility, as he can play either tackle or guard.

Final verdict

As you may imagine, a player’s decision to opt out of a season is likely to concern some teams.

Of the three players I mentioned above, Surtain is the lone player who didn’t opt out of the 2020 season.

While that won’t be a problem for teams in the long-term, it’s still ideal to have the most recent tape available, and that’s what Surtain was able to show.

So, the verdict? Of any position in the upcoming first round, the Broncos, in my opinion, need to go cornerback.