Denver Broncos: Grading entire 2021 draft class

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Javonte Williams. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Javonte Williams. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /
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Denver Broncos, Quinn Meinerz, 2021 NFL Draft
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Quinn Meinerz. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos added 10 new players to the roster in the 2021 NFL Draft and the class as a whole is getting mixed reviews from the fanbase.

It was general manager George Paton’s first draft with the team and while the class as a whole is void of the kind of superstar name fans were hoping for, and he chose not to take a quarterback, he did find tremendous value with the picks that he did make.

The Broncos focused mostly on the defensive side of the ball in this draft, spending seven of their 10 picks there while also putting an emphasis on players for the future. Of course, a few of these players will be expected to come in and be big contributors right away.

Here is a compilation of grades from multiple analysts and as you can see, most view the Broncos’ class favorably.

So how will the grades here compare to those that are out there?

There will be grades for each player followed by an overall grade for the class as a whole.

First round, No. 9 overall: Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama

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

It will take some fans some time to get over the fact that Justin Fields was sitting there when this pick was made and until Patrick Surtain steps onto the field and becomes a shutdown corner, that may not happen.

For me, I still think this pick should have been Micah Parsons, but it’s not a bad pick either.

Despite bringing in Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller through free agency, the Broncos still chose to prioritize a cornerback in the first round. It makes sense, with both Darby and Fuller being on one-year contracts.

Surtain was arguably the best corner in this draft, though Jaycee Horn ended up being taken ahead of him. But Surtain is everything you want in a professional cornerback. It helps that his dad was a Pro Bowl corner for many  years in the league.

His anticipation is almost hard to believe and his ability in one-on-one coverage will allow the defense to be both creative and versatile as there will be a lot of trust placed on the rookie.

The Broncos had Champ Bailey for many years playing at a Hall of Fame level and while it’s difficult for any player to be  the next Bailey, Surtain certainly has the skills to someday get int that conversation.

Grade: A-