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Why the Broncos Drafted Dalton Risner

The story of why the Denver Broncos drafted offensive lineman Dalton Risner in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The weights go up and the weights go down. Dalton Risner puts in another day of work as he dreams of being drafted by his hometown team. The dream seemed impossible. Most shrugged off the notion of Denver scooping the tumbling Kansas State product in the fourth round. After he tested so well and landed second-team Associated Press All-American honors for his above-average play at right tackle in 12 games for the Wildcats, Risner was projected as a second-round selection by’s Lance Zierlein.

Yet there he was, and there the Broncos were. With the 41st overall pick, John Elway was happy to add the versatile tackle to help fill the void left by Billy Turner after Turner signed with the Green Bay Packers for four years and $28 million. A team captain, one of three Offensive Linemen of the Year, and a first-team all-conference selection, Risner checked all the boxes Elway and the Broncos’ draft room were looking to check.

A social media monster and a communications major at KSU, Risner has established the Rise Up Foundation and made an impact both on the field and in the community. The Broncos have recently turned the corner in the way they scout and make their draft choices, and Broncos Country should not be shocked if Risner winds up being an immediate starter, leader and eventual team captain.

Risner’s accolades are nearly too long to list, and he has the tools to be a starting offensive lineman in the NFL. The Broncos’ thirst for consistency along the offensive line continues, and Risner’s instincts, mechanics and core strength could help quench it. One of the biggest tests for Risner will be NFL edge speed, there is nothing like it and no preparing for it. Denver may move him inside if similar struggles to the ones Ty Sambrailo and Michael Schofield suffered become noticeable.

When center Garrett Bradbury flew off the board to the Minnesota Vikings, Broncos Country worried they had missed out on one of the draft’s top athletes on the offensive line, but the flexible Risner fell right into their laps at pick number 41 overall. The KSU product out of Wiggins, CO should provide instant help for Joe Flacco, and possibly Missouri’s Drew Lock later on. Lock was picked by the Broncos with the very next selection at pick 42.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports


How long will it take before Dalton Risner is a starter?

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  • 57%
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    During Preseason
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    To start regular season
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    During the regular season
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