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ENGLEWOOD, CO - APRIL 30: Denver Broncos GM George Paton, left, shakes hands with Denver Broncos first round draft pick, Patrick Surtain II, center, as head coach Vic Fangio, right, pats him on the shoulder after his introductory press conference at the UCHealth Training Center's Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse April 30, 2021. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)"n"n
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Broncos demonstrate folly of taking “best player available”

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The NFL Draft is finally over and, of course, the Denver Broncos front office told us how happy they are with the players they got. Denver picked Alabama cornerback Pat Surtain II at No. 9, and George Paton couldn’t be happier.

However, Denver had much greater needs than cornerback, and therefore Surtain is an example of why “best player available” is not a good draft strategy.

Surtain is going to be a great player. He checks every box he needs to check. He’s fast, strong, smart and has great size and athleticism. He went to Alabama and started on a Nick Saban defense right away.

But the Broncos desperately needed to address right tackle, inside linebacker and quarterback. Quarterback Justin Fields, offensive tackle Rashawn Slater or inside linebacker Micah Parsons would have made more sense with the ninth-overall pick.

This is not really an attack on Surtain as much as it’s an attack on the “best player available” mindset. Surtain is going to be a phenomenal pro, but the position he plays was not as big of a need as right tackle, quarterback or inside linebacker. All those positions had highly graded players available at the time of the pick.

The truth is the Broncos passed on players who would make a much greater impact for the 2021 season to take Surtain.

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