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Scouting Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dalton Risner

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Scouting the Broncos second-round selection.

The Denver Broncos selected Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner with their 41st overall selection in the second-round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Here are Risner’s accolades via kstatesports.com’s player profile on him.

  • 2018 First Team All-American (CBS Sports, Sporting News, Pro Football Focus, ESPN)
  • 2018 Second Team All-American (AFCA, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Walter Camp Foundation)
  • 2018 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year (Coaches)
  • 2018 First Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, Associated Press)
  • 2018 Campbell Trophy Finalist
  • 2018 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Finalist
  • 2018 Wuerffel Trophy Finalist
  • 2018 Senior CLASS Award Finalist
  • 2018 AFCA Good Works Team
  • 2018 Lombardi Award Finalist
  • 2018 Outland Trophy watch list
  • 2018 Preseason All-Big 12
  • 2017 First Team All-American (Pro Football Focus)
  • 2017 Second Team All-American (CBSSports.com)
  • 2017 First Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, Associated Press, Phil Steele)
  • 2017 Outland Trophy watch list
  • 2017 Wuerffel Trophy watch list
  • 2017 AFCA Good Works Team candidate
  • 2016 First Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, ESPN.com, Phil Steele, Pro Football Focus)
  • 2016 Second Team All-Big 12 (AP)
  • 2016 All-Big 12 Underclassmen Team (ESPN.com)
  • 2016-18 First Team Academic All-Big 12
  • 2016 Rimington Trophy watch list
  • 2015 First Team Freshman All-American (Campus Insiders)
  • 2015 Second Team Freshman All-American (Athlon, Scout)
  • 2015 Second Team Academic All-Big 12

Risner was also ranked as the 40th overall prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft by NFL Networks draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

Risner lined up at right tackle for the Wildcats and possesses a good combination of power, balance and instincts. In the passing game, he is quick to shoot his hands and he squats on power rushers. He will click his heels together at times, but he hasn’t paid for it against these opponents. He should be able to correct that at the NFL level. He is very aware versus blitzes and stunts in the run game, using his upper-body strength to torque and turn defenders. He’s also shown the ability to reach and seal from the backside. He will struggle to adjust in space at the second level. Overall, Risner has the tools to become a quality starting right tackle, and he adds value because of his experience at the center position during his red-shirt freshman campaign.

As I said, the Broncos showed interest in Risner throughout the draft process. They met with him at the Senior Bowl and also brought in the local product in for a pre-draft visit. He commented on his Senior Bowl experience and how he was able to meet with Orange and Blue 760’s Steve Atwater and how he sat down and spoke with an area scout of the Broncos.

“It went really good,” Risner said. “I was able to meet with Steve Atwater, who’s a legend in Denver, and their whole crew down here. I was able to chat with them and tell them my story. We talked about how much it’d mean to me to be able to go back home and be a Denver Bronco. I got to sit down with their area scout and talk with him.

Risner was also able to speak with Broncos General Manager and quarterback legend John Elway himself. Risner called this moment a “huge milestone of mine”.

“I didn’t get a chance to talk with anybody else in a formal interview but I did meet John Elway down at the Senior Bowl. After practice, I got to shake his hand and he said he’d already watched me and I was a good football player. It was a great experience, especially having the opportunity to meet with a representative from the Broncos. That was a huge milestone of mine.”

Sounds like the makings of a future Denver Broncos great, doesn’t it?

Dalton Risner

Offensive Line, Junior, Kansas State

Height: 6’5” Weight: 312 lbs 40-time: 5.3 seconds

Arm Length: 34” Hands: 10 1/4”

Bench Press: 23 reps Vertical Jump: 28.5 inches Broad Jump: 110.0 inches

3-Cone Drill: 7.69 seconds 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.52 seconds

Film Room:

Scouting Report:

Strengths:

  • Versatile and can play tackle, guard, and even center.
  • Compared to Chicago Bears center Cody Whitehair
  • Strong as they can come and when he gets his hands on you it’s game over
  • Anchors well and rarely gets pushed backwards
  • Hand usage is excellent
  • Powerful in the run game and drives blockers backwards and/or rag dolls them
  • RIsner’s technique is raved about
  • Has enough athleticism to fit into a zone scheme
  • Effective against high level of talent in college
  • Plays with a mean streak and would add some nasty to the Broncos offensive line
  • Intelligent and reads and reacts well on the football field
  • Likely day one starter in the NFL

Weaknesses:

  • Limited athleticism
  • Can make it at tackle but likely an interior player in the NFL
  • Would struggle with elite speed on the outside
  • Will turn 24 in July so is a little old for a rookie
  • Pass blocking needs some work but could benefit with a move inside

Mock Draftable chart:

Quotable:

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler on Broncos offensive lineman, Dalton Risner.

SUMMARY: A four-year starter at Kansas State, Risner was a dominant blocker in the Wildcats’ power-based scheme, playing center his entire life before moving to right tackle the past three seasons (didn’t allow a sack in 2017 or 2018). Position flexibility is key to his evaluation (similar to Austin Corbett in the 2018 NFL Draft class), taking practice reps at guard and serving as the backup center (took practice snaps pre-game) while at right tackle. Risner is smart and plays with outstanding awareness to decipher all the moving parts around him. Although he is consistently in the right position on tape, which helps him combat speed and long-armed defenders, his technical flaws and lower body stiffness will be tougher to mask vs. NFL rushers. Overall, Risner has athletic limitations, but he should carve out a long NFL career due to his intangibles, toughness and versatility in the NFL, projecting best at guard.

How does Dalton Risner fit with the Broncos?

Risner fits very well with the Broncos. He is likely slotted in as the Broncos right guard, but we could see him get some time at center during Training Camp as well. He gets the Cody Whitehair comparison a lot, and he made the transition from tackle to center, so we could see Risner follow in his foot steps.

Here is what General Manager John Elway had to say about his visits with Risner throughout the draft process and where he fits best with the team going forward.

“I got a chance to meet him there, plus he came in our room in Indy and he came for one of our 30 visits. I got to know him, he’s an outgoing guy that’s a very excitable-type guy and he was fun to be around. It’s always fun to be able to get, No. 1, a football player like that, but also have a home-grown in Colorado here and he’s going to play for the Broncos. We’re excited to have him. With his versatility, he can play tackle, we think he’ll make a really good guard also and he’s played some center. We think we got the best of both worlds with Dalton.”

There is a lot to like with Risner.

I love his mean streak and I think he’s the type of player that Broncos offensive lineman Mike Munchak will love having a long his offensive line. His versatility alone will be valuable since he could start at three spots along the offensive line. Plus, his run blocking ability will be key considering the Broncos figure to be a run first team in 2019.

This is a popular pick among Broncos fans and a popular one amongst the Broncos decision makers and coaching staff. I think Risner’s popularity will only grow during his time with the Broncos, especially with Offensive Line coach Mike Munchak coaching him up.