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.
— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) May 3, 2021
“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.
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