DENVER (KDVR/AP) — The Denver Broncos picked Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II as the ninth overall selection in Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft.
The Broncos traded up with with Atlanta Falcons for the third pick in the second round. With that pick, the team chose a running back out of North Carolina, Javonte Williams.
Williams is a big back with an inside-outside running style and impressive stop-start quickness and burst of speed. He possesses good vision and play-making ability.
After trading down with the NY Giants, the Broncos ended up with two picks in the third round. At 98th overall, C Quinn Meinerz was chosen out of Wisconsin-Whitewater. The last pick of the round, 105th overall, was Ohio State LB Baron Browning.
Meinerz was named a first-team Associated Press Division III All-American in 2019, starting all 15 games at left guard but he will likely need some time to adjust to the move to center and not having played in 2020.
Browning moved to the outside linebacker position as a senior, starting five of seven games (30 tackles, three for loss, with one sack, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles), helping Buckeyes win the conference title and advance to the national title game.
The team had their eyes on several of the quarterback prospects rated a notch or two below Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson, who are expected to go 1-2 to the Jaguars and Jets, respectively.
The Broncos’ new general manager George Paton traded a sixth-round pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for veteran QB Teddy Bridgewater on Wednesday.
Denver has struggled for years to find a suitable replacement for Peyton Manning, who retired a month after Denver’s 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 and is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.
The Broncos are the first team in NFL history to go five years without a playoff appearance following a championship parade, and they’ve had four consecutive losing seasons for the first time since ending a decade-long stretch of sub-.500 records in 1973.
Among the washouts were first-round bust Paxton Lynch, the worst pick in former GM John Elway’s tenure, trade dud Joe Flacco, and free agent flop Case Keenum.