With just over a week to go to design, George Paton and his scouting staff are deep in their pre-design meetings where they discuss specific perspectives. The conversations are conducted in top secret behind closed doors.
But Paton gave Broncos fans a glimpse into his first drafting process as general manager of a team through a conversation with Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post, released Monday.
“It’s a really good process,” Paton told O’Halloran. “I was really impressed.”
The part of that process he is currently in – the debates mentioned above – can be lengthy, as Paton recalled in a story about a specific prospect who went unnamed.
“Then the debate started … and went on … and went on,” wrote O’Halloran. “For almost an hour, the player’s pros and cons, cap and medical history, suitability and makeup were analyzed.”
These conversations come after months of scouting the streets and, more recently, weeks of traveling to watch the prospect’s pro-day workouts following the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic Have gained importance.
Although these workouts are greatly reduced (players don’t wear pads, nor do the soccer drills provide offensive-on-defense action), Paton says they are still valuable to pro reviewers, especially when watching quarterbacks.
“It’s so much different from band,” Paton told O’Halloran. “How does the ball get out of your hand? How fast are you spinning it? Are you ready? How do you handle the pressure?
“The Pro Days I went to that [quarterbacks] I had a lot of coaches and a lot of GMs watching. Did you let it happen when you made a bad throw? Were you emotional? Are you scared? There is just so much to see. We haven’t seen many of these guys live this year so it was important to see them at their Pro Days. “
Don’t expect big clues as to what the Broncos could do with ninth overall win, however.
Paton told O’Halloran that he’s been taking calls from teams wanting to act and a team wanting to act and that he doesn’t expect it to warm up until the week of draft. At that point, he will do what he thinks is best – whatever that decision is.
“We feel in a good place,” said Paton. “There will be a really good striker [at No. 9] and we have the flexibility with the design of the capital that we need to move up or down. “