The early grades are in for the Broncos 2021 draft class

May 3, 2021, 12:29 PM | Updated: 12:41 pm
ATLANTA, GA OCTOBER 05: North Carolina Tar Heels running back Javonte Williams (25) gives a stiff a...
(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While it takes around two full seasons to truly grade a draft class, the Denver Broncos are getting high praise already for their 2021 rookies.

USA Today’s Doug Farrar and Mark Schofield graded each NFL team by anticipating how well teams will do with their new players based on scheme fit, need, and overall talent.

George Paton and the Broncos landed a solid B+ grade.

“The Broncos had a very smart draft… but if they don’t somehow wind up with Aaron Rodgers in a trade, everyone’s going to wonder why they didn’t take Justin Fields with the ninth overall pick. Instead, they took Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II with that pick, and Surtain is the best at his position in this class — a natural in the aggressive match concepts preferred by head coach Vic Fangio. And they somehow got North Carolina’s Javonte Williams in the second round as the third running back taken,” Farrar and Schofield wrote. “Williams was my RB1, with the kind of power and contact balance that brings Marshawn Lynch and Nick Chubb to mind. Third-round center Quinn Meinerz from Wisconsin-Whitewater was the star of the Senior Bowl, and he’s quite a character, but better NFL defensive tackles might give him fits for a while.”

With the ninth overall selection the Broncos took Patrick Surtain II, who was the best cornerback in his class.

The rookie will join a crew of defensive backs featuring Kareem Jackson, Justin Simmons, Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby, but Surtain said he expects to make an impact on day one.

Fan host Cecil Lammey loved the Javonte Williams pick for the Broncos as well, saying Williams was his RB1.

With the departure of Phillip Lindsay, Williams will join Melvin Gordon and should be expected to be a day one starter.

Farrar and Schofield also wrote that Broncos Country should keep on eye on Indian safety Jamar Johnson.

“The late-round pick I really like here is Indiana safety Jamar Johnson, who the Broncos nabbed in the fifth round. Johnson likely dropped because his tackling is nothing to write home about, but he might be the best deep-third coverage safety in this class,” Farrar and Schofield wrote.

While the Broncos did not walk away with a true answer at quarterback (besides Teddy Bridgewater), they did snag players that are projected to make the team better.


Who's ready for some SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL? It's a big game for the Broncos as they take on the Chi...
Rachel Vigil

What To Know | DENvsKC

Who's ready for some SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL? It's a big game for the Broncos as they take on the Chiefs at Arrowhead! Rachel Vigil has three things that you need to know about the two teams ahead of the game tonight!
22 hours ago
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 14: Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (33) rushes during a game be...
Cecil Lammey

The Broncos game plan for beating the Chiefs in Week 13

Can the Denver Broncos go into Arrowhead on Sunday Night Football and shock the NFL world by beating the first-place Kansas City Chiefs?
2 days ago
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 06: Tim Patrick #81 of the Denver Broncos makes a reception for a ...
Rachel Vigil

King Soopers Pick ‘Em Challenge | DENvsKC

It's a big week for the Broncos and the King Soopers Pick 'Em Challenge! As we inch closer to the end of the season, that means we're closer to giving away a years worth of groceries! Find out who is leading the way and walked away with $250 this week!
2 days ago
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25: The Chiefs and Broncos at the line of scrimmage during an AFC West s...
Nick Ferguson

The Extra Mile: Can the Broncos shock the NFL on Sunday in KC?

Tell your truth about Sunday's matchup vs. the Chiefs. Can Denver shock the NFL world and reinvigorate Broncos Country?
3 days ago
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 17: Safety Justin Simmons #31 of the Denver Broncos chats with wide receiver D...
John Clayton

Clayton: The Broncos secondary is the key to huge game against Chiefs

If Denver is going to go into K.C. and get their biggest win in nearly six years, they'll need the strength of their defense to have a big day
3 days ago
Week 13 – Broncos at Chiefs...
104.3 The Fan

Best Broncos Coverage: Week 13 (2021) – Denver at Kansas City

The Broncos look to snap an 11-game skid against the Chiefs on the road at Arrowhead stadium in the bright lights of Sunday Night Football
3 days ago
The early grades are in for the Broncos 2021 draft class