The Denver Broncos' first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is slated to come at No. 9 overall, but there's a chance the team could trade up on draft night. Denver is considered one of the teams that could be in the market for a quarterback, and the top signal-callers are expected to fly off the board come April 29. According to a new report, the Broncos have indeed picked up the phone to explore trading up in the draft for a quarterback.
According to Woody Paige of the Denver Gazette, the Broncos have called the Atlanta Falcons, who sit at No. 4 overall, about a potential trade. Paige also reports that Broncos general manager George Paton has "Mile High regard" for both Justin Fields out of Ohio State and Trey Lance out of North Dakota State, and that his club is considering both prospects. As for who the Broncos would pick if they could have either, Paige believes it's Fields. The first three picks of the 2021 NFL Draft are expected to be quarterbacks, and it could actually end up being the first four. No one can officially rule the Falcons out of potentially drafting Matt Ryan's successor at No. 4 overall, and then they could also be fielding enticing offers from teams, such as the Broncos, who are interested in selecting that fourth quarterback.
After a season in which the Broncos went 5-11, starting quarterback Drew Lock is officially on the hot seat. Lock won four of his first five starts during his rookie season, but went just 4-9 as the starter in 2020, completing 57.3% of his passes for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Lock will likely begin next season as the starter whether the Broncos draft a quarterback or not, but it's clear that the franchise is considering going in a different direction under center, and that they will at least put pressure on Lock to see if he's the future.