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Woody Paige: Broncos get what they need, and they happen to be total opposites

April 28, 2017 Updated: April 29, 2017 at 2:29 pm
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FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016, file photo, Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) closes in on South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers as he throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Tampa, Fla. Walker was selected Defensive Player of the Year for the AP All-Atlantic Coast Conference first team, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

Garett Bolles is a Teddy Bear off the field, The Grizzly at offensive tackle.

"I cried when I learned the Broncos drafted me," he said Friday afternoon.

DeMarcus Ware is out; DeMarcus Walker is in. And the defensive end's twitter handle is @livinglegend_44.

"I always have a chip on my shoulder," he said Friday night.

In Broncos practices regularly this year, and possibly for many more to come, presenting: Mr. Humble vs. Sir Haughty. Immovable against Irresistible. Power and Force. Should be stimulating confrontations.

The Ute and the Seminole.

With their first two picks separated by 21 hours, the Broncos got their growling left tackle (an obvious need) and their snarling rush defensive end (an essential addition).

Then, with their first of two third-round choices, the Broncos took slot receiver-returner Carlos Henderson from Louisiana Tech.

If DeMarcus intends to live up to being a legend, Garett probably will strive to become "Pro Bolles".

Neither was the sexy selection Broncos fans were drooling and dreaming about in the opening rounds, such as a running back (Christian McCaffrey), a tight end (O.J. Howard) or a wide receiver (John Ross).

But John Elway was sporting a wide smile, as only The Duke of Denver can, early Friday evening because he had beefed up - literally 580 pounds - the frontlines on offense and defense with The Trenchmen.

However, it should be revealed that the Broncos, according to sources, attempted to pull off a dynamic draft day deal on Thursday with Cleveland (which still, decades later, hates Elway from the AFC Championships).

The Broncos were willing to offer a couple of first-round draft choices (this year and next), and a second and perhaps a bit more, to acquire veteran left tackle Joe Thomas and the 12th pick in the first round, which would be used to draft McCaffrey.

However, the Panthers grabbed McCaffrey in the eighth overall spot, and the Browns were balking, anyway. They traded the No. 12 for a bundle from the Chiefs, who snared quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

So the Broncos continued with Plan 1A. Bolles had been their prime target for more than a week, since he come to Dove Valley for a second interview. The first was at the NFL combine. ""Mr. Elway told me he would see me again on Thursday," Bolles said during his meeting with the media Friday afternoon. Sitting a few feet away, Elway grinned. The executive VP of football ops had said the night before that the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman from the University of Utah was their man-mountain because of "athletic and tough" qualities. "He desires to be great."

The preference for Bolles was not met with universal approval because the offensive tackle group was not considered top-drawer this year, and there were other notable players - primarily linebacker Reuben Foster and tight end David Njoku - available at 20. Foster, though, has more serious issues than even those that surfaced recently, and the Broncos believed they could secure a quality tight end later in the draft.

People will love Bolles as a person, but as a player, his value will be determined.

When we met for the first time Friday, Garett hugged me as if he were a bear and I was lunch. He had granted me the only pre-NFL combine interview for The Gazette weeks ago because he had served a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Colorado Springs years ago that helped turn around his life. (Also, he watches me on ESPN.) After we talked, I felt he would make a very special choice for the Broncos. He was an exceptional player and is a genuine man, as the Broncos discovered over the past several months and everyone else in the media realized Friday.

"I think our interview was a sign from God," Bolles told me Friday. "I'm back in Colorado and here with the Broncos. I'm blessed."

Bolles is about family, faith and football. He brought wife Natalie and 4-month-old son Kingston, who became a national sensation on Thursday night at the draft in Philadelphia when his goliath father held him up "Lion King"-like on the podium. And with them were Greg and Emily Freeman, the couple that saved Bolles from the street (really) and a young life gone very wrong.

"When Garett was 17," Greg said, "he told us he would play in the (National Football) league. Emily said, 'Come on, we can't get you to go to school,' and I thought he would end up taking over my (garage-door opener) business."

Walker, from Florida State, was chosen in the second round and immediately tweeted: "8 rushers picked before me, PLEASE REMEMBER this."

Should be fun when Garett and DeMarcus get together for the first time as teammates and practice anvils - The Bear vs. The Legend.

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