Broncos sign veteran CB Levi Wallace to one-year contract

Broncos GM won't force a QB pick at 12 (0:42)

George Paton explains why the Broncos won't force a quarterback in Round 1 but will pick the right player at No. 12. (0:42)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Three days before the NFL draft opens, the Denver Broncos continued to try to bolster their depth chart on defense.

The Broncos signed cornerback Levi Wallace to a one-year deal, the team announced Monday.

Wallace -- who'll turn 29 in June -- has played in 83 games in his career with the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers, with 70 starts. For the Steelers last season, he finished with 38 tackles, 2 interceptions and 11 passes defended.

The Broncos have an opening in the starting lineup at cornerback opposite two-time Pro Bowl selection Pat Surtain II. Last week, Broncos general manager George Paton said that Riley Moss, a third-round pick in last year's draft who played just 23 snaps on defense in his rookie year, and Damarri Mathis, a fourth-round pick in 2022, were in the mix to compete for that opening but that the team was still on the hunt for help at the position.

"You're always looking for corners and edge [rushers], value-type positions," Paton said. "We like our corner group. We have one of the best corners in the league [in Surtain]. We like our nickel [Ja'Quan McMillian]. We have two young outside guys, Riley and Damarri. ... They're younger, so we like the group, [but] you're always looking to add at those type of positions."

The Broncos have the No. 12 pick and have a long-standing, and glaring, need at quarterback. But Paton and coach Sean Payton have said they will not "force" the decision to use that opening-round selection on a quarterback if the player they want at the position, and have graded worthy of the spot, is not still on the board.

The team has plenty of needs, given it just missed the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year. Outside linebacker, tight end, defensive line, defensive back and depth at tackle are all needs for the Broncos.

After the decision to release quarterback Russell Wilson earlier this year brought an $85 million dead money charge against Denver's salary cap -- $53 million of it in the coming season -- the Broncos have taken a far more measured approach in free agency.

Wallace will be the fifth veteran unrestricted free agent signed from another team on a one-year deal, the eighth signed to a one- or two-year deal.