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Denver Broncos: 2021 Draft Day Big Board

Who will the Broncos take?

After months of buildup, we have finally arrived at the NFL Draft! By the end of tonight we will (probably) know the first pick of the George Paton era.

What follows is a ranking of the players that I believe are the best fits for the Broncos roster. Obviously this is a subjective exercise. You probably won’t agree with every spot or even every tier. That’s okay. My hope is that this will help inform you as you enjoy the big even.

If you want to learn more about my first round players, you can do so here.

If you want to learn more about my second round players, you can do so here.

If you want to learn more about my third round players, you can do so here.

Tier 1: If they slide, we’re making calls.

These are the players I’d move from 9 for in the NFL Draft. Fair warning, they are all quarterbacks. Barring some sort of trade to one becoming available, I would not make a move until draft day.

1. Trevor Lawrence - QB1

2. Justin Fields - QB2

3. Zach Wilson - QB3

4. Trey Lance - QB4

Tier 2: True BPA

I don’t care what position they play or if the Broncos currently have a starter in place. At the end of the day, your team has a chance to be a lot better if these prospects are on it.

5. Penei Sewell - OT1

6. Kyle Pitts - TE1

Tier 3: The Blue Chip prospects

Barring a Tier 1 or 2 prospect falling, these are the players I hope the Broncos consider at 9.

7. Patrick Surtain II - CB1

8. Rashawn Slater - OT2

Tier 4: Best remaining players at positions of relative need

Each of the following prospects brings something that holds them out of the tier above, but make plenty of sense for the Broncos in the first round of the NFL draft.

9. Teven Jenkins - OT3

10. Azeez Ojulari - ED1

11. Christian Darrisaw - OT4

12. Kwity Paye - ED2

13. Trevon Moehrig - S1

14. Jaycee Horn - CB2

15. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - LB1

16. Greg Newsome - CB3

17. Mac Jones - QB5

Tier 5: Day 1 talent

It’s impossible to deny that these prospects look like first round players, but they bring some combination of risk, downside, or fit issue that holds them out of the tiers above. For the sake of transparency, I chose to rank them as I see them for their position groups, but there are some major questions that need answering before I would consider drafting them.

  • Ja’Marr Chase - WR1
  • Jaylen Waddle - WR2
  • DeVonta Smith - WR3
  • Caleb Farley - CB4
  • Jaelan Phillips - ED3
  • Alijah Vera-Tucker - iOL1
  • Micah Parsons - LB2

Tier 6: Eye of the beholder Day One guys

I wouldn’t blame George Paton for taking one of these players in the first round, even if I hope they land at 40.

25. Asante Samuel Jr. - CB5

26. Baron Browning - LB3

27. Alex Leatherwood - OT5

28. Zaven Collins - LB4

29. Liam Eichenberg - OT6

30. Jayson Oweh - ED4

Tier 7: Second round guys with first round intrigue

There’s some question about fit, positional value, upside, and/or regarding risk that holds these players out of of the tiers above, but they offer exciting upside.

31. Jabril Cox - LB5

32. Javonte “Pookie” Williams - RB1

33. Rashod Bateman - WR4

34. Dillon Radunz - OT7

35. Joe Tryon - ED5

36. Christian Barmore - DL1

37. Jamin Davis - LB6

38. Samuel Cosmi - OT8

39. Elijah Molden - CB6

40. Jevon Holland - S2

41. Ifeatu Melifonwu - CB7

42. Najee Harris - RB2

43. Joseph Ossai - ED6

Tier 8: Best remaining players at positions of relative need

Questions about fit, positional value, upside, and/or regarding risk hold these players out of of the tiers above, but they could become good players on the Broncos.

44. Eric Stokes - CB8

45. Elijah Moore - WR5

46. Stone Forsythe - OT9

47. Aaron Robinson - CB10

Tier 9: Second round prospects

It’s impossible to deny that these prospects look like potential impact players, but they bring some combination of risk, downside, or fit issues that hold them out of the tiers above. For the sake of transparency, I chose to rank them as I see them for their position groups, but there are some major questions that need answering before I would consider drafting them.

  • Landon Dickerson - iOL2 / OL8*
  • Terrace Marshall Jr. - WR5
  • Wyatt Davis - iOL3 / OL12*
  • Kadarius Toney - WR6
  • Kelvin Joseph - CB9

Tier 10: Third round guys who have early round intrigue

There’s concerns about fit, positional value, upside, and/or regarding risk that holds these players out of of the tiers above, but they offer exciting upside.

53. Spencer Brown - OT10

54. Jalen Mayfield - OT12 / OL15*

55. Levi Onwuzurike - DL2

56. Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr. - DL3

Tier 11: Best remaining players at positions of relative need

Questions about fit, positional value, upside, and/or risk hold these players out of of the tiers above, but they could become good players on the Broncos.

57. Creed Humphrey - iOL4

58. Dyami Brown - WR5

59. Brady Christensen - OT13 / OL17

60. Amon-Ra St. Brown - WR6

61. Quincy Roche - ED8

62. Paulson Adebo - CB11

63. Richie Grant - S3

64. Tyson Campbell - CB12

65. Milton Williams - DL5

66. Elerson Smith - ED9

67. Pete Werner - LB6

68. Alim McNeil - DL6 / NT1

69. Quinn Meinerz - iOL6 / OL19

70. Travis Etienne - RB3

71. Josh Myers - iOL7 / OL20

72. Pete Werner - LB6

73. Nick Bolton - LB8

74. Michael Carter - RB6

Tier 12: Third round prospects

It’s impossible to deny that these prospects look like potential impact players, but they bring some combination of risk, downside, or fit issues that hold them out of the tiers above. For the sake of transparency, I chose to rank them as I see them for their position groups, but there are some major questions that need answering before I would consider drafting them.

  • Dylan Moses - LB7
  • Walker Little - OT11*/OL13*
  • Jackson Carman - OT14 / iOL5 / OL18*
  • Kylin Hill - RB4
  • Trey Sermon - RB5
  • Payton Turner. - DL7 / ED7
  • Rondale Moore - WR7
  • Daviyon Nixon - DL4
  • Pat Freiermuth - TE2

Tier 13: Day 3 fits who intrigue

Questions about fit, positional value, upside, and/or risk hold these players out of of the tiers above, but they could become good players on the Broncos. This far down the gap between prospects starts to shrink to the point where it’s pretty blurry, so I decided to break it down by position. There is a legitimate chance some of these players go undrafted.

These prospects are not presented in any specific order

Cornerback

  • Rodarius Williams
  • Marco Wilson (Nickel only?)
  • Darren Hall (Safety)
  • Avery Williams (Nickel)
  • Keith Taylor
  • Shaun Wade (Safety?)
  • Shemar Jean-Charles
  • Trill Williams
  • Michael Carter II
  • D.J. Daniel (Nickel only?)
  • Brandin Echols
  • Thomas Graham Jr.
  • Deommodore Lenoir
  • Nate Holbs
  • Shakur Brown
  • Olaijah Griffin
  • Camryn Bynum
  • Bryan Mills
  • Jerry Jacobs
  • Tre Brown
  • Robert Rochell
  • Benjamin St. Juste
  • Zech McPherson

Safety

  • Ar’Darius Washington (Nickel only?)
  • Paris Ford
  • Andre Cisco
  • Richard LeCounte
  • Damar Hamlin
  • Talanoa Hufanga (LB?)
  • Aashari Crosswell
  • Caden Sterns
  • Brady Breeze
  • Joshua Bledsoe
  • Mark Webb
  • James Wiggins
  • Darrick Forrest
  • Christian Uphoff
  • Shawn Davis
  • Nahshon Wright
  • Dicaprio Bootle (Nickel?)
  • Jamar Johnson
  • Divine Deablo (LB?)
  • Hamsah Nasirildeen (LB?)

Linebacker

  • Chazz Surratt
  • Cameron McGrone
  • Monty Rice
  • Tony Fields
  • Grant Stuard
  • Justin Hilliard
  • Garret Wallow
  • Isaiah McDuffie
  • Amen Ogbongbemiga
  • Derrick Barnes
  • Buddy Johnson

Edge/ Outside linebacker

  • Jonathan Cooper
  • Elerson Smith
  • Patrick Johnson
  • William Bradley-King
  • Shaka Toney
  • Jordan Smith
  • Hamilcar Rashed Jr.
  • Charles Snowden
  • Janarius Robinson

Defensive Linemen

  • Jay Tufele
  • Adetokunbo Oundeji
  • Marvin Wilson
  • Isaiahh Loudermilk
  • Marlon Tuipulotu
  • Malik Herring
  • Osa Odighizuwa

Offensive Linemen

  • James Hudson
  • D’Ante Smith
  • Robert Hainsey
  • Josh Ball
  • Alaric Jackson
  • Kayode Awosika
  • Cole Van Lanen
  • Troy Smith
  • Kendrick Green
  • Tony Kraemer
  • Aaron Banks
  • Deonte Brown
  • Robert Jones
  • Dave Moore
  • Trey Hill
  • Jimmy Morrisey

Wide receiver

  • Nico Collins
  • Dwayne Eskridge
  • Jaelon Darden
  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette
  • Seth Williams
  • Anthony Schwartz
  • Marquez Stevenson
  • Austin Watkins
  • Shi Smith
  • Josh Palmer
  • Cornell Powell
  • Dazz Newsome
  • Cade Johnson
  • Dax Milne
  • Tamorrion Terry
  • Josh Imatorbhebhe

Tight End

  • Tre’ McKitty
  • Matt Bushman
  • Tony Poljan
  • John Bates
  • Luke Farrell
  • Nick Eubanks
  • Dylan Soehner
  • Shaun Beyer
  • Jack Stoll

Running back

  • Kenneth Gainwell
  • Khalil Herbert
  • Javian Hawkins
  • Rhamondre Stevenson
  • Jermar Jefferson
  • Chris Evans
  • Kene Nwangwu