Broncos 2021 NFL Draft primer: Will George Paton replace Drew Lock?

Broncos QB Drew Lock Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Broncos QB Drew Lock Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Broncos QB Drew Lock
Broncos QB Drew Lock Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Denver Broncos 2020 season was forgettable, to say the least. After an offseason filled with promise and high expectations for this young team, the Broncos finished the season in the last place of the AFC West with a 5-11 record. Second-year quarterback Drew Lock floundered early in the season and injuries ravaged the team, causing them to lose players like wide receiver Courtland Sutton and linebacker Von Miller.

Combine a new offensive coordinator with a young offense, season-ending injuries, and a pandemic affected offseason and what do you get? You get whatever the Denver Broncos put on tape in 2020. While the team had its struggles, there’s still hope for the future of this franchise to compete for a playoff berth in 2021.

Even though Lock struggled, his last six games showed some positive improvements. Rookie wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler showed great potential to be big playmakers and the rest of the offense showed flashes of what could be. Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme did just enough to keep the Broncos in games, including close battles with the Kansas City Chiefs, despite the injuries and the poor performance from the offense. With all of the high expectations and the major letdown that followed, the Broncos switched course in the front office to help right the ship for 2021 and beyond.

A new era arrives in Denver

After a decade of making decisions, John Elway stepped down from his role as general manager and assumed an executive position with the organization. Elway, along with Joe Ellis and Vic Fangio brought in George Paton, formerly with the Minnesota Vikings, to be the new general manager of the Broncos.

With Paton’s experience as a scout and assistant in the league, his offseason moves for the Denver Broncos were scrutinized under a very fine microscope. How will Paton attack his first chance to make an impact in the 2021 NFL Draft?