For those in Broncos Country who were left scratching their heads at Denver’s pick of Pat Surtain II at No. 9 overall in this year’s NFL Draft, know that you’re not alone.
On Monday, not one but two ESPN NFL experts panned the Broncos top pick, with one calling the decision to pass up on drafting quarterback Justin Fields “confounding.”
Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer for ESPN, said the only way Denver’s decision to draft the highly touted cornerback makes sense is if somehow the Broncos land Aaron Rodgers via trade — with “perhaps putting Surtain in the deal.”
“Surtain is a great prospect, but the Broncos had both Justin Fields and Mac Jones available at No. 9 overall,” Seifert writes. “Perhaps they didn’t have elite grades on either quarterback, and maybe they haven’t completely given up on Drew Lock. But they’ve already hedged once at quarterback by acquiring Teddy Bridgewater, and there is no comparison between cornerback and quarterback when it comes to positional value.”
ESPN sports analytics writer Seth Walder had a similar argument, saying he’ll “rescind all criticisms if this was all part of an eventual deal for Rodgers, but until that happens, passing on Fields was a confounding choice.”
“What’s the Broncos’ path to a Super Bowl right now? It can’t be with Bridgewater or Lock under center, right?” Walder writes. “Fields (or Jones) would have given them upside at quarterback to support an otherwise pretty strong roster.”
Walder adds if Paton was so “adamant about passing on those two QBs,” he should have traded down to secure more draft capital.
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