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George Paton: We still have time to bring in the right QB to compete

Mike Florio and Chris Simms list the top draft needs for every team in the AFC West ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.

With the ninth overall pick, the Broncos are one of the more intriguing teams within in the first round of next week’s draft. Though the team has Drew Lock who’s heading into his third season, the club is firmly in the quarterback market.

During his pre-draft press conference on Thursday, General Manager George Paton reiterated that the team likes Lock and what he’s done in the offseason. But the team still intends to bring in competition at QB — whether it’s through the draft or otherwise.

“What we don’t want to do is force it and bring a guy in, overpay a guy to come in and maybe he’s not as good as the guy we have. Maybe he’s not good enough to compete,” Paton said. “We want to get the right guy and we still have time. There’s a trade market. We have the draft. The landscape may change after the draft — a team drafts one, maybe that quarterback’s on the market. So we’re going to be patient, not force it. But we do realize we want competition, and I’ve said that since I’ve gotten here and that hasn’t changed.”

When it comes to quarterbacks who could be available via trade, Paton was the Vikings’ assistant G.M. with the club selected Teddy Bridgewater back in 2014. After the Panthers acquired Sam Darnold from the Jets, Bridgewater reportedly received permission to speak to other teams about trading for him.

Lock has displayed some solid traits in his 18 career starts, but his rookie season was better than his second. In 2020, he completed just 57.3 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards with 16 touchdowns and tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions.