ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (CBS4)– The 2021 NFL Draft is a week away and Denver Broncos’ new general manager George Paton is confident that with their ninth overall win, the team will have a player who will have an immediate impact.

(Credit: CBS)

“We have nine picks and three picks in the first 75 and we’re very excited. If we stand pat, we think we’ll get a hitter in 9th place. We look forward to it and feel in the best position to improve our football team, ”said Paton.

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The Broncos solidified the off-season defense by signing Justin Simmons on a long-term contract, exercising von Miller’s option, and re-signing Shelby Harris and Kareem Jackson. They also brought in two cornerbacks in Ronald Darby and Kyle Fuller. These steps have given the Broncos flexibility in design.

“We choose No. 9 and I like that very much. I think we’ve met enough needs in the free agency that we don’t have to reach for a player. We can take the best player within reason. We have the flexibility to move up or we can move back, ”said Paton.

(Credit: CBS)

Paton has said since arriving that winning the competition for Drew Lock at quarterback is important. However, the team did not sign or exchange for a quarterback in the early stages of the free agency. That could mean the Broncos are watching a young gun in the draft or even wait until then.

“We like Drew Lock. What we don’t want is to force it and bring in a guy or overpaid a guy to come in and he’s not as good as the guy we have and maybe he’s not good enough to compete. We want to find the right man and we still have time. There is a trading market and we still have the draft. The landscape can change after the design. If a team designs one, that quarterback might be in the market. We will be patient and not force it. We realize we want competition and I’ve been saying that since I’ve been here. That hasn’t changed, ”said Paton.

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Many expect a strong run on quarterbacks early in the first round, which means the Broncos could potentially act to get the guy they want, or they could do the opposite and acquire additional picks by trading down.

“We haven’t made any calls to move up. We have received calls to move back. If we think a player can help us and improve, and if we think it’s worth getting, we’ll get him, ”said Paton.

If the Broncos make a big trade in the first round, it will likely not happen until the draft is underway.

“It’s draft day trading because you don’t know if the player will be there. Usually these happen when they are on the clock. Of course we had some trades early, but they knew they were going to get one of their players. If we got promoted, we wouldn’t be sure if the player we were promoted for would be there. “

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The 2021 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 29th at 6 p.m.