PHILADELPHIA -- The Broncos selected offensive tackle Garett Bolles with the No. 20 overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
The 6-foot-7, 297-pounder from the University of Utah will help the Broncos' offensive line, an area of weakness for the team last season.
“We just really thought that athletically, the way he played the game, the mentality that he brings to the game, he was in our mind the best left tackle in the draft,” Broncos general manager John Elway said.
“Once the quarterbacks starting jumping off early, it kind of increased our chances. He was our target, so we feel really good about getting him.”
Bolles brought his 4-month-old son, Kingston, on the stage after the pick.
"You can expect a player that has a chip on his shoulder and is ready to go and get work done. I'm ready to go help Denver win another Super Bowl," the 24-year-old Bolles said.
Bolles was a first-team all-Pac-12 selection for the Utes last season. He previously played at Snow College, where he was twice a junior college All-American.
Bolles came to Colorado to serve a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Colorado Springs, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.
Bolles credits that mission with turning around his life that included drugs and being kicked out of school.
"I get to bring my family back to Colorado," he said. "That's where I served my mission so Denver I'm coming back home.
"Everyone told me I can't make it here. Everyone doubted me and didn't really believe in me but all those kids out there that struggle with a learning disability or get in trouble with the law. It doesn't matter.
"You gotta align yourself with the good Lord and he's going to bless you. So all those kids, don't let anyone tell you you can't do it."
The Broncos met with Bolles at the scouting combine in Indianapolis and brought him in to the team's training facility earlier this month.
“Obviously with his background and the maturity of him having been in Colorado on his mission and with being married and having a child now, I thought it was awesome to see him bring his child to (the draft)," Elway said. "I think that shows you a little of what he’s about. He brings enthusiasm.”
The second and third rounds of the draft will be held Friday, with the Broncos having the 51st, 82nd and 101st overall picks. The fourth through seventh rounds will Saturday, with the Broncos having six more selections.