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Denver Broncos drawing significant trade interest in 2021 NFL Draft

The Denver Broncos could now be prime trade-down candidates after pulling off a trade for Teddy Bridgewater one day before the 2021 NFL Draft.

Selecting No. 9 overall, Denver was previously linked to quarterbacks with both their original selection and potential trade-up scenarios. Now that the Broncos have Bridgewater and incumbent starter Drew Lock slated to compete for the job during training camp, there’s no real need for a young signal caller in the top 10.

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Wednesday’s trade has led to significant interest from other teams looking to move into the top 10 for a target player.

Denver Broncos team reporter Aric DiLalla expanded on a potential trade involving his organization and the ninth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

“If the Broncos traded into the teens, (linebacker) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah could certainly be an option. He has positional versatility and the coverage skills teams desire for a modern-day linebacker. (Broncos GM) George Paton was at Notre Dame’s pro day when he worked out, so it’s possible he’s on the team’s radar,” DiLalla noted.

This is just one of several possibilities for the Broncos come draft day now that they have seemingly settled their short-term issues at quarterback.

Who will be the best QB from the 2021 NFL Draft?

Read More: 3 trickle-down effects of Teddy Bridgewater trade on 2021 NFL Draft

Denver Broncos could still select a quarterback

Denver Broncos draft Justin Fields
Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Whether this was a way to up the ante for teams looking to move up or something else, reports surfaced following the Bridgewater trade that selecting a quarterback at nine could still be in the cards.

We’re just not seeing it. Short of trading Lock and rolling with Bridgewater as a stopgap option in front of an unnamed rookie, this would create too much of a log jam under center. It also wouldn’t be the best use of the Broncos’ resources as they look to improve off a five-win 2020 season. This is magnified by the fact that players at need positions could give Denver Broncos value due to the fact that the top of the draft is going to be quarterback-heavy.

Read More: Denver Broncos mock draft: How Teddy Bridgewater trade impacts 7-round projections

Denver Broncos options if they stay at nine

2021 NFL Draft: Micah Parsons
Nov 9, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Micah Parsons (11) celebrates after sacking the Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (not pictured) in the second half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons seems to be the best bet if Denver doesn’t pull off a trade Thursday evening in Cleveland. He’s the consensus top defensive player in the draft and fills a major need with Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell slated to start inside next season.

The Broncos could also potentially look to fortify their pass protection on the offensive line. According to Pro Football Focus, left tackle Garett Bolles did not allow a single sack a season ago. With that said, there were issues on the other side of the line with Ja’Wuan James opting out of the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps, Penei Sewell could be an option should the former Oregon standout fall down the board.

Read More: 2021 NFL Mock Draft: Expert Picks & Analysis on Round 1 Prospects

Potential Denver Broncos trade-down scenarios

  • Philadelphia Eagles: It’s being noted that Philadelphia, slated to select 12th overall, is looking to move up beyond the Dallas Cowboys at 10 for the top cornerback in the draft. It’s possible Denver could trade down just a few spots while adding a target player and a third-round pick or so.
  • Minnesota Vikings: Should Sewell or Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater be a target for Minnesota, a potential trade up from the 14th selection could make sense. The Vikings have a need after left tackle following the release of Riley Reiff. Meanwhile, new Broncos general manager George Paton spent over the past decade in the Vikings’ front office. A trade of this ilk could net Denver a second-round pick.
  • New England Patriots: It’s no secret that the Pats are interested in moving into the top 10 for a quarterback. They can’t be sold on Cam Newton as a long-term option. That’s where the Denver Broncos come into play. If Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones is on the board, moving down to 15 could make sense. Given the current trade market, this could even net the Broncos a first-round pick in 2022.