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2021 NFL mock draft: Denver Broncos select CB Patrick Surtain II

With four quarterbacks gone, what will the Broncos do with the ninth pick?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 11 CFP National Championship - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Denver Broncos feel like a team in purgatory right now. They aren’t very good, but they aren’t horrible. At the center of this mediocrity is their quarterback, Drew Lock. The young quarterback is just two years into his NFL career, but last year was a serious struggle that has left many wondering if Denver is already considering moving on.

Unfortunately for Denver, four quarterbacks are already gone in our Pride of Detroit Mock Draft now that they are on the clock. Instead, they’ll have to look elsewhere to improve their meddling team and try to compete in a tricky AFC West division. Here’s the board they’re staring down.

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
  3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota
  4. Atlanta Falcons: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
  5. Cincinnati Bengals: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
  6. Miami Dolphins: Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
  7. Detroit Lions: Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  8. Carolina Panthers: Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

Stepping to the podium for the Broncos is POD commenter kevough1. And with the ninth pick in the POD Community Mock Draft, the Broncos have selected Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

Here’s Kevough1 with the explanation:

Surtain is about as polished a college cornerback as you’ll see in press-man coverage. That is of very little surprise, given who his father is. His 277 snaps in press-man coverage over the past two seasons are more than anyone else in the draft class. His ability to maintain contact along the route without grabbing or being overtly physical is something many top-flight NFL corners haven’t even mastered.

As a freshman, he earned a 78.7 PFF coverage grade, before recording an 84.6 grade in 2019 and an 88.6 mark in 2020. He was a unanimous All-American and won SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2020 when he recorded 37 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, an interception, and nine passes defended.

I know Denver just signed free agent cornerback Ronald Darby to a three-year, $30 million contract. and Kyle Fuller one-year, $9.5 million contract. See where I'm going here, don’t you? This gives Surtain time to accumulate with the NFL. As a player who will turn 21 later this month, he should be a great addition to the Mile High team.

Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:

Kevough1 surely had to be contemplating taking QB Mac Jones (based on need) or TE Kyle Pitts (based on value), but I believe it’s too early for Jones, and Pitts is too redundant with Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam already in the fold—as crazy as that sounds, the Broncos may be the one team where Pitts doesn't have a high value.

After quarterback, the most glaring need is offensive tackle and it wouldn’t surprise me if they looked real hard at LT Christian Darrisaw (Virginia Tech) or RT Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State).

It might be a tick early for the next run on offensive tackles, which is why I’m on board with kevough1 grabbing Surtain, who is a nice combination of value and long-term need. If I'm the Broncos, I’d let Darby man the slot and flank him on the outside by Surtain and Fuller. That’s a healthy trio of corners to pair with safeties Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson in the secondary.

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