Broncos pick Coloradan Dalton Risner, QB Drew Lock in second round of NFL Draft
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — John Elway didn’t dare draft another quarterback in the first round. Twenty four hours later, he couldn’t wait to select Missouri’s Drew Lock, the QB some projections had going to Denver in Round 1.
Instead, Elway got his man at No. 42.
“We’re very fortunate. We didn’t think he would fall nearly this far,” Elway said. “Right now, we’ve got a starting quarterback in Joe Flacco, so he’ll be an understudy .”
Elway entered Day 2 with two second-round selections. After taking Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner, who grew up in Wiggins, Colorado, at No. 41, Elway picked again after trading No. 52 to Cincinnati along with fourth- and sixth-rounders Saturday to move up those 10 spots.
While Risner could start at right guard right away for Denver, there’s no pressure to throw Lock into the starting lineup, especially because he’s not coming into the QB pressure cooker as a first-rounder as expected.
Burned by bad QB decisions since Peyton Manning’s retirement three years ago, most notably first-round bust Paxton Lynch, Elway acquired Flacco from the Ravens this winter and doubled down this month by declaring the 34-year-old veteran was still in his prime.
Lock said he’s ready to sit and wait, watch and learn.
“Joe is a great quarterback. Obviously, he’s won a lot of football games and he’s won a Super Bowl,” Lock said. “I couldn’t be more excited to be able to go in there and learn from a guy like that … just be the best teammate I can be right off the bat.”
Sliding into the second round, however, brings more motivation into the mix for Lock, who watched fellow QBs Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins go in the first round.
“It certainly does,” Lock said. “I know the kind of player I am. I know the kind of player I’m going to be. This adds a little chip to the shoulder bigger than the one that’s already on there.”
Lock was among the two dozen prospects invited to the draft in Nashville, and about an hour after Elway drafted him, he was brought out onto the stage to get the traditional hug and handshake from the commissioner that he’d expected 24 hours earlier.
Risner also had high hopes of getting drafted in Round 1, but he couldn’t have been happier to get a call from the Broncos while his family was gathered in downtown Denver, about an hour south of his hometown of Wiggins, Colorado.
“Of course, everyone wants to go in the first round,” Risner said, but he figured landing his dream destination more than made up for the disappointment of falling.
“I am just happy to come home to the Broncos,” Risner said, recalling his last time playing at the team’s stadium while in high school.
“I remember looking at the field and I told myself the next time I was at the field I was going to be playing for the Broncos,” Risner recounted.
After taking three offensive players, the Broncos finally landed a defender with the selection of Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones in the third round.
New Broncos coach Vic Fangio said this offseason that it’s no longer enough to have two great pass rushers such as Denver’s duo of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb on the outside but that an interior push was necessary, too.
“You want four guys that the quarterback can feel caving in on him,” Fangio said at the NFL scouting combine in February. “And that’s critical in the pass rush. And that’s an area that we need to improve in.”
The thought of playing with Chubb and Miller “gets me going,” Jones said. “I’ve played with elite guys on the outside before, so I know how it feels. I just know I’ve got to piggyback on what they’re doing. I want to add value, not devalue the team.”
The Broncos have three more picks this weekend and a glaring need at middle linebacker.AlertMe