Grading every AFC West team’s offseason after the 2021 NFL Draft
(Photo by Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports) Justin Simmons
- Grade: B
Now, now, this is the most important preface in my writing history right here. If the great reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is in fact on his way to the Mile High city, this grade immediately vaults to A+++ despite any compensation they’d be giving up.
When considering his fiance has a home in Boulder, Colorado, the Denver Broncos are at the tippy top of Rodgers’ reported preferred trade destinations. The Broncos in the AFC, so the Green Bay Packers wouldn’t have to see him in their conference anymore, the team is in the western part of the country which is where he reportedly wants to settle, and Denver is a desperate quarterback-needy team. It’s very logical.
With a solid roster and all-time great quarterback John Elway still having a top role in the front office, all while passing on the uber-talented Justin Fields at pick No. 9 in the 2021 draft, they appear to be the clear favorite to land Rodgers right now.
But that’s still in the fantasyland phase as far as this Rodgers craze. As far as what’s set in stone, the defensive-minded Broncos catered their offseason moves this year to try to stop AFC West quarterback juggernauts, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. The top corner through the draft process, Patrick Surtain II, could be a young stud for them in the backend.
They also added defensive back Kyle Fuller, who just so happened to have his best, lone All-Pro season in 2018 with the Chicago Bears when current Denver head coach Vic Fangio was the defensive coordinator for Chicago. Safe to say those two reuniting in Mile High could be mutually beneficial.
In addition, they’ve retained one of the league’s top safeties Justin Simmons and added corner Ronald Darby, who had a nice resurgence in the nation’s capital for the Washington Football Team after struggling mightily during his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The strong reinforcements at the back end combined with Bradley Chubb, Von Miller, and Josey Jewell up front bodes well for the Broncos moving forward.
On offense, placeholder quarterbacks at the moment Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock were given some support when Denver took Javonte Williams, one of the few top-ranked running backs in the draft out of North Carolina.
With a solid offensive line, Williams and Melvin Gordon in the backfield, and a rising pass-catching core in Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Noah Fant, the Broncos are a real franchise quarterback away from adequately taking the step up into title contention as well.