Denver Broncos: Caden Sterns added to deep defensive backfield

Denver Broncos, 2021 NFL Draft, Caden Sterns. Mandatory Credit: Texas won 41-34. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos, 2021 NFL Draft, Caden Sterns. Mandatory Credit: Texas won 41-34. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos did not have any fourth-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they have two picks in the fifth round. With the first of those two fifth-round picks, they have selected Texas safety Caden Sterns.

Sterns, a captain at Texas last season, finished his college career with the Longhorns racking up 172 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five interceptions, and 13 total pass breakups.

The Denver Broncos and general manager George Paton continue to emphasize the defensive backfield, and they continue to emphasize absolutely ridiculous athleticism in this draft.

Sterns blew up at the Texas pro day, running a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash with a 42-inch vertical jump. Just as they are with the Baron Browning selection and Quinn Meinerz selection, the Denver Broncos are trusting their staff and personnel to develop Sterns, who was once the number one high school recruit in the state of Texas, over Miami Dolphins first-round pick Jaylen Waddle.

George Paton said he was going to lean on the Denver Broncos’ analytics team, and he wasn’t kidding. The Denver Broncos have continued to emphasize high character with their selections as well as big-time athletes.

And frankly, what better use of analytics could there be?

The Broncos highly value new defensive backs coach Christian Parker as well as their current defensive staff led by head coach Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell. Defensive back development has been a hallmark for Fangio and Donatell through the years, as well as Parker in his time with the Green Bay Packers.

Your analytics model should tell you that a former number one recruit in the state of Texas, of all places, with freakish athletic ability and high character, should eventually work out.

If Sterns is willing to put in the work, he could very well be a future starter. This is around the same range where the Chicago Bears once selected Eddie Jackson with Vic Fangio coaching their defense. Not every fifth-round safety will turn into an Eddie Jackson, but again, you bank on the traits and work ethic of the player and that’s what the Denver Broncos have done here.

Love that way of thinking, love the approach, and love the potential.