Mock Draft Football Fields (copy)

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields runs with the ball during the first half of the Big Ten championship football game against Northwestern in Indianapolis, in this Dec. 19, 2020, photo. 

The Broncos’ draft grade would have been A++++ if they could have traded for Aaron Rodgers.

The Broncos’ draft grade would have been A++ if Deshaun Watson hadn’t fallen off the edge of the earth and was traded to Denver.

The Broncos’ draft grade would have been an A+ if they had chosen Justin Fields.

The Broncos’ draft grade would have been A if they possessed one quarterback who was ranked in the top 30 in the NFL.

George Paton’s first draft grade as commander-in-control would have been an A in a John Elway, Peyton Manning or even Jake Plummer era.

However, under the current QB quandary circumstances, the Broncos’ draft grade is F — for failure.

Paton made two special selections at nine and 35 and added several decent players among the other eight in the class of 2021.

"I think it was a nice draft,'' Paton said Saturday night. "Time will tell.''

But none of the picks likely will be a starter this season.

So, the overall result was uninspiring. The Broncos aren’t contenders to win the Super Bowl or the AFC West Division unless the defense throws eight shutouts. The Chiefs still exist.

After much manuevering except at No. 9, the Broncos secured two cornerbacks (Patrick Surtain II of Alabama in the first round and Kary Vincent Jr. of LSU in the seventh round), running back Javonte Williams, quirky small-college sensation (offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz), a linebacker from Ohio State (which produced Randy Gradishar), two safeties in the fifth round, one more wide receiver for a crowded room and, finally, two defensive ends.

Paton, Elway and the rest of the Broncos’ brain trust obviously had no interest in Fields, who once was considered the No. 2 QB in the draft, or Mac Jones, who once was considered the 49ers’ choice at No. 3.

The Broncos had no interest in any quarterback in the draft.

The Broncos did get a first-round quarterback — from 2014. Teddy Bridgewater is the latest of more than a dozen quarterbacks who have passed through town since Manning retired after Super Bowl 50.

Drew Lock is still here.

As I suspected, and wrote, months ago, Lock would be the starter and backed by a veteran, who turns out to be Teddy Bridgewater.

Everybody in Colorado must calm down.

Wait until next year.

What about Aaron Rodgers? Last season’s NFL MVP reportedly told someone in the Packers’ organization that he wouldn’t come back to the team — even though, at 37, he is to receive $37 mil this season. He hates the general manager for drafting his successor last season and not drafting a wide receiver, and he is not so fond of the coach for stupid late decisions that lost the NFC Championship in Green Bay.

Rodgers supposedly preferred moving to the 49ers, the Broncos or the Raiders. San Francisco is out of the equation after picking Trey Lance, and Las Vegas is not in. Paton said he reached out to the Packers, and the conversation was short and unsatisfying.

Suddenly, though, all of Colorado erupted because Rodgers’ fiancée is a part-time resident of Boulder, and he allegedly bought a cowboy hat in Greeley, and Rodgers and former girlfriend Danica Patrick actually did attend a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2019.

Aaron has made two appearances @Mile High stadium — in 2007 as the backup to Brett Favre — Rodgers didn’t play — and as the starter in a 29-10 loss to the Broncos in 2015. Of course, he’d love to live in Colorado. Everybody else does. Check the real estate prices.

A few local gossips claimed the Broncos were close to making a deal with the Packers on Thursday, but no national or other Denver media professionals or any of my NFL sources confirmed the Broncos-Packers rumor.

In fact, the Packers were not stupid enough to even think about trading Rodgers now, so the report was ludicrous. The Pack would have been forced to absorb a $38.3 million dead-cap hit. If they wait until June 1, the number would be reduced to $14.3 million. The Packers’ general manager and the president of the franchise both say they want Rodgers to remain in Green Bay for years. His only option may be to sit out and host “Jeopardy.’’

If the Broncos did trade for Rodgers, they could be the only team other than the Packers to have three future Hall of Fame quarterbacks win Super Bowls.

Instead, they have Lock and Bridgewater and a bunch of new guys.

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