George Paton says Kyle Fuller signing 'a big bonus' for Broncos: 'We don't have to reach' in draft

One man's salary cap casualty is another's treasure.

The Chicago Bears cutting corner Kyle Fuller for cap reasons last month will directly influence the Denver Broncos' decisions ahead of next week's draft.

Fuller fits like a glove in Denver, reuniting with coach Vic Fangio and adding a lock-down corner to a reworked secondary.

Broncos GM George Paton explained Thursday, adding Fuller opened up Denver's draft options, with corner no longer a priority. Without a glaring need in the secondary, it gives Paton the flexibility to maneuver or take the best player available in the draft.

"Kyle is just so instinctive. He's a savvy vet. Really good ball skills and great anticipation," Paton said. "He fits what Vic is doing here, and he had his best year with Vic. Just to get a guy like that as late as we did was a big bonus. Now we don't have to force it in the draft, and we don't have to reach. We don't have to take a corner. We have [CB Ronald] Darby, we have Fuller, and we have some young guys. That was really big for us."

Flexibility is key for Paton, who is conducting his first draft since taking over for John Elway in Denver.

The offseason has focused around the Broncos potentially drafting a quarterback high in the 2021 draft, whether with the No. 9 overall pick or by moving up to snag one. Paton stuck with his familiar refrain this offseason, supporting incumbent Drew Lock while saying bringing in competition at the position remains the goal.

"We're in a good spot at No. 9. We feel it's prime real estate," Paton said. "We have the flexibility to move back, we can move up. We've received some calls to move back. We haven't made any to move up, but we're open. We're flexible."

If corner were a glaring need entering the draft, perhaps Paton would be singing a different refrain -- more willing to sit tight and take potentially the top CB in the draft. With Fuller in the building, however, he can be open to other options, including the possibility of making a move for a quarterback of the future without worrying how that might leave the defense short-handed.

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