Denver Broncos: Safety Caden Sterns addition puts P.J. Locke, Trey Marshall on notice

Denver Broncos, 2021 NFL Draft. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, 2021 NFL Draft. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos have selected safety Caden Sterns with the 152nd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

A 6-foot-0, 202-pound safety, Sterns made 173 tackles including 120 solo tackles in four years at Texas. That’s exactly the type of defensive back Vic Fangio and Company want.

The Broncos certainly do have a need at safety. Kareem Jackson returned on a 1-year deal, so it appears that 2021 might be his final year in Denver.

Outside of Jackson and free safety Justin Simmons, the Broncos have P.J. Locke and Trey Marshall.

If the Broncos don’t add a high-profile safety in the free-agent class of 2021, we could see Sterns beside Simmons for the long-term, as the team signed Simmons to a contract extension that made him the highest-paid safety in NFL history.

In 2020, the Broncos’ backup safeties played the following number of snaps on defense:

P.J. Locke: 6
Alijah Holder: 43
Trey Marshall: 15

Simmons and Jackson both played all of the Broncos snaps during the 2020 season. Unfortunately, that does not mean that will be the case in 2021. With Jackson getting older, it’s safe to say that there’s a higher chance of him getting hurt.

It isn’t a surprise if the Broncos feel like Holder and Marshall were worse options than Sterns.

The Broncos appear to have moved on from Will Parks, who hit free agency this year after his return to the team. Parks signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020 but was cut during the season, and then re-signed with the Broncos.

With Sterns, the Broncos get a great tackler who ran the 40-yard dash at 4.40 seconds at Texas’ Pro Day.

The Broncos could use Sterns in a three-safety package on game days, and we may even see him blitz the quarterback or maybe even help in run support.

Welcome to the team, Caden. We are glad to have you in the Mile High City.