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Cornerback Caleb Farley
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Clayton: Cornerback likely for the Broncos at No. 9 in NFL Draft

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Looking ahead to the NFL Draft, it’s looking very likely that the Denver Broncos will be drafting a cornerback with their ninth pick. Fortunately for George Paton, there are certainly some good ones that should be available. Most notably, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II and Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley head up that list.

There’s certainly a need for cornerbacks in Denver as Vic Fangio’s secondary can’t take too many big hits. They have to do something to get a long-term deal completed with Justin Simmons. That deal will probably come in at a little more than $14 million per year. If they can’t strike a long-term deal with Simmons, they’ll have to put another franchise tag on him for the 2021 season. The Broncos simply can’t afford to lose Simmons, he’s too important to the team as a playmaker in Fangio’s scheme.

Elsewhere in the defensive backfield, A.J. Bouye has already been cut and there’s a possibility Kareem Jackson could be a cap casualty. Fortunately, the Broncos do still have Bryce Callahan, as he has one more year on his contract, but injury concerns have plagued him in recent seasons.

While the Broncos also have needs at linebacker and on the defensive line, their top priority should be fortifying the secondary for Fangio and Ed Donatell. Considering that need, and the value of the position, the smart money would be on either Surtain or Farley joining the orange and blue as the draft’s ninth overall pick.

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