Luke Wattenberg, a Washington Husky for six years, became a Denver Bronco with the 171st pick (5th round) in the NFL Draft this year.
After the draft wrapped up, he met with the press to talk about his college years and his new position.
Welcome to #BroncosCountry, @LukeWattenberg!— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 30, 2022
» https://t.co/R3BXrXazaS pic.twitter.com/gejqszsVBG
Wattenberg, often called “Watt,” shared that playing both guard and center in college gave him a lot of versatility on the field. “I was fortunate to be given that opportunity, and it’s been a big weapon for me throughout this process and has made me the player I am today,” he said.
Asked if he watched any NFL tape when converting from guard to center in college, he named center Alex Mack and Washington Offensive Line Coach Scott Huff.
“Alex Mack has been one of my big inspirations at center and ‘Huff’ originally, we watched a lot of their tape because our OC came from them. I really studied his game a lot. I really try to model after him.”
Speaking of his college career, Wattenberg started in 2016 (although he redshirted that season), and he absolutely thinks he played in college for too long. “I felt like a professional college player,” he admitted, but added that he has no regrets.
“I felt like I had been there forever, but I enjoyed every minute of it and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
One of the main reasons “Watt” doesn’t think twice about his decision to continue playing in college is development it brought forth, especially in this past season.
“It was huge,” Wattenberg said, “That was one of the reasons why I came back is because I wanted more snaps at center. I felt like I hadn’t developed fully there and the 12 games this year really helped me a lot.”
On how rewarding it is to be drafted by the Broncos, the guard-turned-center opened up about having this dream and seeing it finally come to light.
“It’s an amazing feeling, for sure,” he told the reporters, “It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a long time, and it’s crazy that it’s finally here.”
He shared that there was some contact between him and the Broncos organization, namely at the NFL Combine and the Shrine Bowl game. “Other than that, not too much,” he recalled, “I’m super happy to get the call today, and I really couldn’t be happier.”
Along with his happiness, though, is still some uncertainty around his role, which is understandable coming straight out of the gate. “I’m going to do whatever Coach tells me to do and do what’s best for the team,” he explained, “Put my best foot forward and try to help this team win.”
Like some other newly-drafted players, he isn’t too well-versed with the Broncos organization yet, or with Denver as a whole. Also like those other players however, he is still acutely aware of two things: the elevation, and the gorgeous scenery.
“The elevation has been a big one,” he stated about his experience playing in Colorado every year, “All of those players there are used to it, and it definitely takes a little getting used to. Mainly the weather.”
“The mountains there are stunning,” he went on, “so I’m excited to get to know the state better and the town, for sure.”
Welcome to Denver, Luke Wattenberg! I’m excited to see what the coming season has in store!