Denver Broncos have NFL’s best secondary per PFF

Denver Broncos rookie 1st-round pick Pat Surtain II. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos rookie 1st-round pick Pat Surtain II. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos made a lot of big moves in the 2021 offseason, but nobody in the NFL invested more in their secondary than new GM George Paton. In addition to signing Justin Simmons to a big-money contract which has the highest average annual value per year of any safety contract in league history, Paton made two big signings at cornerback, brought back Kareem Jackson, and used four picks in the 2021 NFL Draft on the defensive backfield.

In addition to re-signing Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson, here is a look at the players the Denver Broncos brought into their secondary unit for the 2021 season:

  • CB Ronald Darby
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Pat Surtain II
  • CB Kary Vincent Jr.
  • S Caden Sterns
  • S Jamar Johnson

After all of the moves, Pro Football Focus has apparently taken notice and ranked the Denver Broncos’ secondary unit as the best in the NFL.

PFF has done a number of position group rankings throughout the offseason thus far and the Denver Broncos have looked really good defensively from their perspective with multiple players at each position group ranking in the top half of the league, including Simmons as their top-ranked safety in the NFL right now.

Simmons has certainly proven himself worthy of the distinction in terms of his statistical production, leadership, clutch play at the end of games, and breakthrough in the Vic Fangio defense.

This secondary unit for the Denver Broncos is certainly the best the team has had since the vaunted No Fly Zone that helped the team win Super Bowl 50 featuring Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., Bradley Roby, Darian Stewart, and TJ Ward.

The guys the Denver Broncos have now — Darby, Fuller, Surtain, Bryce Callahan, Simmons, and Jackson — look like they could be even better than that other unit on paper, but the proof will be on the field in 2021.

For now, it’s definitely fun to look at the secondary and talk about how good they could be, especially with a defensive mind like Fangio calling the shots and putting them in position to succeed.

The Denver Broncos have struggled somewhat since Fangio came aboard to create turnovers, and the personnel in the secondary has been somewhat of a reason why. Injuries have factored into that, but the Broncos brought in some guys this offseason who have been among the best in the NFL in recent years at getting their hands on the football.

Hopefully, this group will live up to Pro Football Focus’s lofty ranking.