Good morning, Broncos Country!
Those four adjectives give you an idea of who Dalton Risner is, but they come up short. Way short.
The best way to describe one of the newest members of the Denver Broncos: He is a Pat Bowlen Bronco. Through and through. What is that? The player is great on the field but even better off of it.
Yes, I know, he has yet to play a down for the Broncos but what is there not to like? Risner grew up a Broncos fan, is obviously really good at what he does (he was drafted in the second round), fills a huge need for Denver and Mike Munchak loves him.
On the latest MHR Radio Podcast (iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher), Adam Malnati and I love what Elway and Denver did on the second day of the NFL Draft — including the first pick in the second round, Risner.
Then you watch his introductory news conference on Saturday, and those words to lead off this story smack you in the face through whichever screen you watch it on. As Vic Lombardi said, you have to remind yourself he’s 23. When I think back to what I was like at 23, it wasn’t close to Risner. Some would still say I’m still lacking on the “mature” part.
But what seals Risner as a Mr. B Bronco is what he does off the field.
If you have yet to see the video from the NFL, here it is.
As Risner said in his tweet, “Bigger than a game.”
This is what it’s all about, because it is bigger and more than football.
“This is where I’m from,” Risner said in his conference call on Friday night. “I grew up in Wiggins, Colorado. I grew up watching Denver Broncos games. It’s crazy, I made a promise to myself the last time I was at the Denver Broncos Stadium, I think it was called Invesco at the time, my senior year in high school. I remember looking at the field and I told myself, ‘The next time I was at that field I was I was going to be playing for the Broncos.’
“That’s actually coming true and I don’t think it’s hit me yet. I’m just so honored to be a part of that and be able to do community service right here at home. It’s something I’m extremely excited about, but priorities right now are to get there, earn the respect of the team and go to work.”
Nothing in life, let alone football, is guaranteed. So you make the most of the time you have, find what you love and try to leave an impact. At 23, Risner seems to have that figured out and that is pretty damn special.
Time will tell if Risner leaves his mark on the field, I have no doubt that he will, but you know he will bust his ass and do whatever the coaches tell him. If what he accomplished at Kansas State is any indication, Risner is set for a helluva career. As member of the Wildcats offensive line, he allowed one sack and three quarterback hits. You read that right, one sack. In fact, Risner hasn’t allowed a sack since 2016, his sophomore year.
Think about this: He not only sees his dream come true, he sees it happen with the team he loves. You know whenever Risner steps on the field or puts on his Broncos helmet, he knows what it means.
He also knows what it means to represent the organization off the field. To represent the community that he grew up in.
“My priority right now is to come in and earn the respect of this team and work hard for the guys who are in this football team,” Risner said at his news conference on Saturday. “Eventually I will obviously want to have that impact. That is something that means a lot to me. Football is going to end someday, but I feel like the type of person you are off the field is what matters. I obviously want to be involved in the community and have that impact, but as of right now, my priority is to come in and earn the respect of this football team and the staff here.”
There are a lot of ways you can describe Risner.
The best way is as a Pat Bowlen Bronco.
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