Broncos Haven't Made Calls to Move Up from No. 9 in 2021 NFL Draft, GM Says

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 22, 2021

Helmet of Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons during a news conference to announce a four-year deal for $61 million to keep Simmons on the team Monday, March 22, 2021, at the team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Denver Broncos are a popular candidate to trade up in the 2021 NFL draft, but they aren't actively looking to make a move at this point.

Broncos general manager George Paton told NFL Network's James Palmer they haven't made any calls about moving up from the No. 9 spot. 

Paton's comment does refute a previous report connecting the Broncos to the No. 4 pick in a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. 

Per Woody Paige of the Denver Gazette, Paton has "Mile High regard" for Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance. 

One reason that Paton may not want to play his hand right now about possibly trading up is that there are still questions about how the board will shake out. 

Assuming that Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are the first two players selected, it remains unclear what the San Francisco 49ers are going to do at No. 3. They still haven't decided between Fields, Lance and Mac Jones, per NFL.com's Peter Schrager

If Fields or Lance goes to San Francisco, it could increase Denver's sense of urgency to make a move since only one of the quarterbacks it's reported to hold in high regard will be available.

If Jones goes third, the Broncos have a little more wiggle room to work with if they really want Fields or Lance. 

The Broncos may not want to go into 2021 with Drew Lock as the No. 1 quarterback on their roster. He followed up a promising rookie season in 2019 with a bad 2020. The 24-year-old ranked last in completion percentage (57.3) among 35 qualified players and tied Carson Wentz for most interceptions in the NFL (15). 

Denver has missed the playoffs in each of the past five seasons and hasn't posted a winning record since going 9-7 in 2016.