The 2021 NFL season is creeping up and kickoff is right around the corner. With training camp in full swing for the Denver Broncos, it’s time we take a look at a Broncos 7-round 2021 NFL mock draft to look at what the 2021 draft class could bring to the Mile High City. After a successful 2020 draft class and a run of good selections over the last couple of drafts, general manager John Elway will look to continue his success in the 2021 class that will feature plenty of top-tier talent on both sides of the ball. With pressing positional needs like cornerback and offensive tackle being under the spotlight in 2021, Elway will need to continue to perfect his scouting skills to help the Broncos and their young nucleus develop into a playoff contender around their potential franchise quarterback, Drew Lock.
In this 2021 7-round mock draft, we assessed the Broncos’ biggest needs for the 2021 season, as well as the needs which may arise from potential free-agent departures. Using the Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator, this Broncos 7-round 2021 mock draft sets the team up for success in the future.[sv slug=”mocksim”]
15th overall – Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
Recently, PFN draft analyst Ian Cummings reported on his own 2021 NFL mock draft and he had the Broncos selecting Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley with the 12th overall selection. In our mock draft, Farley was still available at 15th overall, and with the Broncos in need of a true starter at cornerback, Farley is an easy choice for the Broncos’ first pick. After choosing to sit out the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 draft, Farley projects to be one of the first cornerbacks off the board.
His physical style of play and ability to play in both man and zone schemes makes him a perfect fit for head coach Vic Fangio. He carries great size for a cornerback and utilizes that size against wide receivers throughout their route. Farley would likely be a Day 1 starter in Denver.
47th overall – Paris Ford, S Pittsburgh
Another selection that we’ve seen before for the Broncos in past PFN 2021 mock drafts, Paris Ford out of Pitt was available for the Broncos’ second-round selection. With Kareem Jackson approaching the end of his contract that keeps him in Denver until 2022, the selection of Ford helps secure safety depth in 2021 and a potential starter for the future. Ford would likely be able to make an immediate impact on the Denver defense with the guidance from Fangio and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.
Ford’s potential defensive impact as a rookie
As I wrote before in a mock draft reaction piece, Ford is like Jackson in many ways. He’s not the biggest safety, but he can pack a punch on the field. His ability to work efficiently in shallow zones and his athleticism would make him an instant impact player for the Broncos as they switch to more nickel and dime defensive looks. If Jackson isn’t retained by Denver past 2022, Ford would make a solid replacement for the veteran safety.
79th overall – Samuel Cosmi, OT Texas
In 2020, we saw six offensive tackles go in the first round. This 2021 NFL draft class is going to be full of top-tier offensive tackle talent and with left tackle possibly being a large area of need, this is one position that cannot be ignored by Elway and Fangio.
Related | Valdovinos’ 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft
Garett Bolles has struggled throughout his first three seasons in the league and is looking to make a statement in his fourth season after the team declined his fifth-year option. If Bolles doesn’t show improvement, however, his time with the Broncos could be coming to an end, unless Denver wants to keep him on a short-term deal to usher in his possible replacement.
Could Cosmi start for the Broncos right away?
Getting Samuel Cosmi in the third round would be an absolute steal for the Broncos in 2021. Cosmi has already had an interesting draft adventure, as many see him as a potential first-round selection. However, inconsistencies in his technique could cause him to fall and I believe those inconsistencies are what could keep him on the bench as a rookie.
He does have a large frame and good athleticism with a ton of potential. If Denver chooses to re-sign Bolles, it could allow Cosmi time to develop under offensive line coach Mike Munchak and become the Broncos’ future starter at left tackle.
110th overall – Kuony Deng, LB California
Deng, a transfer from Independence Community College of Netflix’s ‘Last Chance U’ fame, makes for an interesting fourth-round selection in this Broncos 7-round 2021 NFL mock draft. He comes in as the second-tallest linebacker in the class at 6’6″ and can offer Fangio another project linebacker to mold. He is extremely raw but has good athleticism for his size and has tremendous length.
Deng will need to improve his processing skills and tackling angles. He will also need to become more physical and disciplined before he is seriously considered to take quality reps for the Broncos’ defense, but if anyone can work with him, it’s Fangio.
142nd overall – Jordon Scott, DT Oregon
Last season, the Broncos saw first-hand what an impactful defensive tackle could look like in Fangio’s defense with the addition of Mike Purcell. In 2021, they could potentially add another one to the mix. Jordon Scott, the defensive tackle out of Oregon, is an absolute unit on the defensive front and could be a quality addition to the Denver defense. With his massive frame and the power to generate push, he could be a dangerous weapon to use on running downs.
174th overall – Joshua Kaindoh, EDGE Florida State
You can never have too many pass rushers. Kaindoh is tall for an edge rusher at 6’7″, but has incredible athletic tools that could make him an interesting fit in Fangio’s scheme. With experience dropping into coverage, something that Fangio has asked of his outside linebackers in the past, Kaindoh could play a similar role to that of current Broncos linebacker Justin Hollins.
206th overall – Camryn Bynum, CB California
I have the Broncos doubling down on cornerbacks in this mock draft, mainly because there still are a lot of questions surrounding the position. After acquiring A.J. Bouye from the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason, the Broncos are still searching for an outside cornerback to play opposite of him. The team invested a third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft to pick Michael Ojemudia, but the depth at the position is concerning.
Even after selecting Farley with the first-round pick, getting quality depth for this secondary remains a key objective going into 2021. Bynum would be a perfect fit for this defense as well as adding value to the depth chart on the outside. He is a terrific athlete and a sound tackler as a corner, something that Fangio preaches day in and day out. With Bouye getting older, Bynum could see himself competing to start across from Farley as soon as 2022.
207th overall – JaTarvious Whitlow, RB Auburn
“If you want to win, put Boobie in.” JaTarvious “Boobie” Whitlow is the last pick of this Broncos 2021 7-round NFL mock draft, but not just for the nickname. Whitlock is an explosive runner who could add a healthy mix to the Broncos backfield with Royce Freeman potentially moving on after 2021. While Whitlock likely wouldn’t press Phillip Lindsay or Melvin Gordon for carries, he could be productive in pass protection, as well as on special teams.