DENVER — On Sunday, News 5 Sports Briana Aldridge spoke with Denver insider Troy Renck to recap some of the choices General Manager George Paton and the Denver Broncos made in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Broncos fans went through some stressful moments over the course of three days, between Aaron Rodgers rumored to be in talks on a deal to Denver and Paton opting not to select a quarterback with the No. 9 pick.
Troy breaks down who Broncos fans might see on the field as soon as this season.
Hey guys, joining me now is Denver Insider Troy Renck and Troy thank you so much for joining me, a lot of talk about the draft causing some surprises. But I think the biggest elephant in the room that we have to address is that the number nine pick, didn't go to the quarterback. Two quarterback options available, everyone was speaking Justin Fields, talk to me about their reasoning for that with that literally falling in our lap, and decide not to go for either option.
Before the draft, I thought if Justin Fields was there at nine they would take him I know they like both Trey Lance and Justin Fields. Lance was gone at three to San Francisco, but it really came down to this. When George Pa ton scouted those quarterbacks. He just didn't feel on the case of fields and Mac Jones, that they were much better than the options of Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock, so he went from the best player on his board, which is that point was Patrick Surtain the corner. He had him rated as the fifth-best player in the draft so he felt there was value when he fell to nine. Broncos country was understandably confused because their biggest free-agent signings were Ronald Darby, a cornerback Kyle Fuller, a cornerback, and then you draft, wait for a cornerback but Bryce Callahan and Kyle Fuller have expiring contracts so Surtain if he's not starting this year I think he will be a nickel and dime, but he will be their number one corner in 2022.
So, everyone's talking about and we could see the numbers, defense, defense and that was the motto of this draft. Is that something that George Paton felt like he needed to address?
No one can say George Paton isn't giving Vic Fangio a chance to save his job, because they've improved the defense this offseason, and as you said seven of the 10 picks were defensive players. Part of his best player available is a thin draft, it's the fact that they needed to get younger and more athletic on special teams because once you get past the third round, a lot of those players are going to play special teams, and anyone that's watched the Broncos the last couple years knows their special teams have been an absolute dumpster fire.
We could sit here and analyze for days but it's going to come down to how they perform when you plug them in. But just from sitting back, watching film and feedback, you're getting, who do you think is going to contribute or maybe even surprise Denver Bronco fans this year?
The guy who could be the secret from this draft at least initially Baron Browning the linebacker from Ohio State, four or five guy and player coming out of high school. A little inconsistent in college because he was playing outside and inside. I hope they don't cross-train him, they just keep him inside and see if they can find a niche in coverage with either Browning or from last year wait for it, Justin Strnad. They've got to find a way to cover linebackers better. Josey Jewell and Alexander Johnson are great tacklers they stuff the run but neither is particularly good in coverage. That's where Barry Browning could come in and provide a lift on their defense on third down.