Denver Broncos: 5 consequences if they miss the playoffs in 2021

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pat Surtain II, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Denver Broncos consequences if the team misses the playoffs

5. NFL Draft no-man’s land

The Denver Broncos aren’t bad enough to be picking in the top five of the 2022 NFL Draft. Anything is possible, of course, but I think the Broncos are good enough on paper to win at least eight or nine games in 2021.

While that would represent an improvement over the 2020 season, if they miss the playoffs, that would put them in no-man’s land for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Nobody likes being there.

The Broncos picked 15th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft after going 7-9 in 2019 and that was acceptable because the team showed some promise with a young QB under center.

The plan and context has now changed substantially.

Even though the Broncos got lucky with Jerry Jeudy falling into their laps at that selection, missing the playoffs would mean needing to re-start at the QB position (as mentioned previously) which would mean needing to potentially draft somebody.

Trades can always be made, but being lukewarm in 2021 would be a horrible situation for the Denver Broncos because of the implications it would have on reshuffling the roster at critical positions in 2022, namely at quarterback and offensive tackle.

The Broncos need to make the playoffs in 2021 to justify picking later in the 2022 NFL Draft, even if QB remains on the table at that point. It would be far more exciting to trade up for a QB in the NFL Draft if your team was coming off of a 10-win season and a playoff berth versus an 8-9 season where the QB was average to below-average.