By Justin Adams

(CBS4) – The Denver Broncos will have a new general manager and will have the ninth pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft at their disposal. With several holes needed to be filled on the roster, here are the players the experts believe the Broncos will pick in the first round.

Kwity Paye – 6-4, 272 lbs., Senior, Defensive Linemen – Michigan
Stats: 16 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, in 4 games played
CBS Sports Prospect Rank: Prospect Rank: 7th Overall, Position Rank: 1stWhat they said:

(Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports) “John Elway says the team will be looking for a new GM, which will raise concerns about whether the Broncos might be looking for a QB here. If not, you can never have enough pass rushers. And while Von Miller will be back in 2021 he’ll also be 32 years old. Plus, Miller, Bradley Chubb and Malik Reed all have contracts that expire after the ’22 campaign. Paye, meanwhile, is an athletic marvel who has shown vast improvement since the ’19 season.”

(Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports) “This is under the assumption Von Miller has played his last down in Denver. Paye is a solidly built, twitched up athletic freak who improved his pass-rushing moves in 2020.”

Why this pick makes sense: The Broncos have a $17.5 million team option on Von Miller for the 2021 season. If Denver decides not to pick up Miller’s option, then Paye would be added as Miller’s replacement. Malik Reed, who started in place of the injured Miller, led the Broncos with eight sacks last season.

Caleb Farley – 6-2, 207 lbs., Junior, Cornerback – Virginia Tech

Stats: (2019 season, Farley opted out of playing for Virginia Tech in 2020) 20 tackles, 4 interceptions, 12 pass defensed, 1 interception return for a touchdown

CBS Sports Prospect Rank: Prospect Rank: 11th Overall, Position Rank: 1st

What they said:

(Josh Edwards, CBS Sports) “Denver would have loved to land Micah Parsons (Penn State linebacker) but the board did not fall in its favor. Instead, they take the top cornerback off the board and continue adding talent to Vic Fangio’s defense.”

Why this pick makes sense: The Broncos depth at cornerback is lacking. A.J. Bouye will miss the first two games of the 2021 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Bryce Callahan missed six games with injuries and was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 2 with a foot injury. In total he’s missed 22 of the possible 32 games he could have played with Denver due to injuries. Selecting Farley will allow the Broncos to pick up the best cornerback in the draft as the team continues to invest in the secondary.

Justin Adams