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Broncos Blessuan Austin

Getty Seattle Seahawks S Jamal Adams and CB Blessuan Austin tackle Antoine Wesley.

The Denver Broncos have signed cornerback Blessuan Austin, according to Mike Klis of 9news.

This news is not too surprising. The Broncos had met with Austin, and he has been participating in minicamp as a tryout player.

With the addition of Austin, the Broncos have now added some much-needed cornerback depth. The Broncos now have six cornerbacks on their roster: Patrick Surtain II, Ronald Darby, K’Waun Williams, Michael Ojemudia, Essang Bassey, and Austin.

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Austin Has Started 17 Games in 3 Seasons

Austin was selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft. Despite being a late-round pick, Austin became a significant contributor for the Jets.

Over his first two NFL seasons, Austin started 16 games and played a total of 1,070 defensive snaps for the Jets. In that span, he recorded 88 combined tackles, three tackles for loss, eight passes defended, and two forced fumbles.

Austin established himself as a quality run defender. In 2019, he had a PFF run defense grade of 72.8. In 2020, he had a PFF run defense grade of 70.9.

Austin was not quite as good in pass coverage. In 2020, Austin allowed a passer rating of 97.9 when targeted, which was higher than the league average.

In a surprising move, the Jets waived Austin before the 2021 season. The Seattle Seahawks quickly signed him.

Austin appeared in 11 games for the Seahawks last season. However, he only started one game, and he played a career-low 149 defensive snaps.

At age 25, Austin still carries upside. He is a solid depth option at cornerback.

In addition, he can be a contributor on special teams. Austin played 52 special teams snaps for the Seahawks last season.

Could the Broncos Move Up in the Draft?

On April 22, Denver Broncos general manager George Paton hinted that the Broncos could trade up or down in the upcoming NFL draft.

“I think there’s going to be value in those rounds where we can upgrade our team, upgrade our depth, upgrade our speed, everything we need to do. We’re fortunate that … in free agency we filled a lot of needs and throughout the offseason, so we don’t need to reach for players. We’re going to have flexibility. Again, I talk about flexibility all the time. But we can take the best player. And we can move up, we can move down. So I really think we’re in a good spot heading into the draft.”

With the addition of Austin, cornerback will not be such a glaring need early in the draft. Maybe, the Broncos could package together two picks to move up in the second round. The Broncos do not have many holes on their depth chart, and they are armed with nine picks.

Offensive tackle is a position to watch. The Broncos previously met with Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann, according to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic.

Many outlets project Raimann to be a late first-round pick, but if he slides into the second round, he could be a name to watch.

Source: Heavy

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