Broncos use first day 3 selection on cornerback help
The Denver Broncos will have a busy day on day three of the 2022 NFL Draft which will be rounds 4-7. The team will make eight total picks on Saturday, barring trades.
With the first of those picks, the Broncos decided to add another cornerback, a position most analysts felt the team would attack.
With Patrick Surtain and Ronald Darby listed as the starters, the team signed K’Waun Williams through free agency to potentially serve as the team’s nickelback. Beyond that, the team only has Michael Ojemudia, Essang Bassey and recent signings Blessaun Austin and Donnie Lewis.
In the fourth round, with the 115th overall pick, the team chose Pittsburgh defensive back Damarri Mathis.
At 5-foot-11 and just a few pounds shy of 200, Mathis does not look like the most physical player but that is one of the strong suits of his game. A strong, sure tackler, Mathis will bring the ball carrier down with authority.
In 34 total games with the Panthers, Mathis had five interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown, to go with 18 pass deflections.
He is the kind of defensive back that ex-head coach Vic Fangio would have loved, so he should fit what the team already has on defense, with any tweaks that Ejiro Evero plans to make. But his physicality would be a fit for any team looking to have that type of identity from their cornerbacks.
He should come into Denver and have an immediate opportunity to contribute and should be in sub-packages right away, at the very least. The only sure thing Denver has at cornerback is Surtain, last year’s first-round selection.
Darby played well when healthy, but he missed six games in his lone season in Denver last year. Bassey was cut at one point last year before being brought back and Ojemudia missed almost all of his second season in the league.
Williams seems to be the wild card and if he pans out it will be big for the team but Mathis, who some analysts had a third-round grade on, provides the Broncos great potential and a guy who could be a starter for years to come.