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Meet the Broncos’ new Mr. Nice Guys

Mike Klis
The Denver Post

DENVER, Colorado “-They have graduated from prospects to players.

And if they are Broncos players, the rookie class of 2009 will soon realize they will draw the curiosity of this community. As the Broncos were drafting five more players Sunday in the second day of the draft, they marched out the five players they selected on Saturday.

The two first-round picks, Knowshon Moreno and Robert Ayers, were poised and accommodating with the media, while upstairs in the war room, the Broncos used their fourth-round pick to take Notre Dame safety David Bruton.



To meet the second-round triumvirate of Alphonso Smith, Darcel McBath and Richard Quinn is to believe the Broncos put engaging personality on par with physical talent on their scouting reports.

No one draft pick was more well- mannered than the other.

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“Awesome. You’re not going to see any of them be any different,” Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said of his 10-man draft class. “We want our guys to be like that because they’ll play together. When I say we’re going to change, I don’t think anybody knows what that means. Including some of our players. Yet, they’re going to find out. Then once they see us be successful from one week to the next, they’re going to go, ‘This works.’ “

After Bruton, the Broncos drafted guard Seth Olsen later in the fourth round, traded up to get receiver Kenny McKinley in the fifth, traded up to get quarterback Tom Brandstater with the first pick in the sixth round and selected center Blake Schlueter in the seventh.

Here’s something about the five introduced in person Sunday:



– Moreno. How did the Broncos’ new star get his name, Knowshon? His father, Freddie Moreno, had a lifelong nickname of “Knowledge.” His mom’s name is Vara-shon.

The first four letters of Dad’s nickname, ‘Know,’ and last four letters of mom’s given name, ‘shon,’ became the name of the Broncos’ new franchise running back.

– Ayers. The lone defensive front-seven player drafted by the Broncos with the 18th overall pick, Ayers grew up in New Jersey but was a fan of Barry Sanders and the Detroit Lions. Why not the Giants and Jets?

“I didn’t like either growing up,” he said. “I hated the fact they were called New York when they played in New Jersey.”

At the University of Tennessee, Ayers once met former Vol and Broncos middle linebacker Al Wilson.

“You heard stories about him,” Ayers said. “He’s a legend in that place. No-nonsense. If you’re slacking he’s going to let you know you’re slacking. He’d pick you up if you don’t pick yourself up. I don’t know how he was here, but that was the type of guy he was.”

– Smith. The Broncos traded away a first-round pick in 2010 to take the Wake Forest cornerback early in the second round Saturday. Smith graduated with a degree in history.

“I was going to be a lawyer,” he said.

That was impressive until the Broncos selected Brandstater. He not only earned his degree in communications from Fresno State but he already has his master’s in sports psychology.

– McBath. The free safety from Texas Tech was the oldest of four children growing up in Gainesville, Texas. His three younger siblings are all sisters.

“I put a lot of dudes in headlocks,” he said.

– Quinn. His father, Richard Quinn Sr., is an ex-Marine, having served in the military for 22 years.

Quinn brings a Marine-like, unselfish, hard-nosed mentality to the tight end position. He had only 12 catches in his career at North Carolina, which had three receivers drafted.

“I want to show them I can do both (block and receive),” Quinn said. “I feel like that’s one of the reasons Coach McDaniels drafted me. And I thank him for it.”

Already, it seems clear the Broncos’ draft class is oozing with character. Can the new players perform? That’s not clear, yet.

Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or mklis@denverpost.com

The backlash

A look at what the Broncos’ draft meant to some players on the current roster:

1. Kyle Orton, QB: Not only did the Broncos not draft Mark Sanchez, they drafted a quarterback’s best friend ” a franchise running back in Knowshon Moreno.

2. Ronald Fields/Marcus Thomas/Carlton Powell, NT: Fields, a backup his first four seasons with the 49ers, may have the edge to start after the Broncos didn’t draft a nose tackle.

3. Brandon Marshall, WR: Despite offseason hip surgery and legal issues, Broncos showed confidence in him by not drafting a receiver until fifth round (Kenny McKinley).

1. Buckhalter, Torain, et al., RB: None of the Broncos’ running backs will get as many carries as they hoped after Knowshon Moreno became the team’s top pick.

2. Jarvis Moss/Tim Crowder, DE/OLB: Robert Ayers will soon nudge the pride of the Broncos’ 2007 draft class down the depth chart.

3. Tony Scheffler, TE: He won’t be traded, although playing time may not increase after TE Richard Quinn was taken in second round.


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