Broncos Football

Broncos outside linebacker Nik Bonitto (42) takes part in drills during a rookie minicamp NFL football session Friday at the team's headquarters in Centennial.

ENGLEWOOD • One of the first tasks as a rookie in the NFL is choosing your jersey number, and often there's meaning behind that choice . 

For Broncos draft picks outside linebacker Nik Bonitto, tight end Greg Dulcich and cornerback Damarri Mathis, each had a different decision. And on Friday at Broncos rookie minicamp, they each got to finally don their new numbers. 

“It was just one of the numbers that were available," said Bonitto, who chose No. 42 and was drafted in the second round out of Oklahoma. "I didn’t care what number I was given. I just picked whatever.”

Unlike Bonitto, Dulcich had a specific reason for picking No. 80, which was most notably worn by former Broncos great wide receiver Rod Smith. 

"I thought it was cool and Rod Smith, especially, that's really awesome," said Dulcich, who was drafted in the third round out of UCLA. "He was a guy who was a undrafted free agent and reminds me how I was a walk-on. You've got to carry yourself with that mentality. ... It's really truly an honor to wear the same number as him." 

As for Mathis, he didn't know the significance of his number, No. 27. That was the jersey of former Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams, who was killed in 2007 in a drive-by shooting. The organization has since named an award after him — The Darrent Williams Good Guy Award, which is given annually to the Bronco who best exemplifies Williams' enthusiasm, cooperation and honesty while dealing with members of the press. 

Mathis has since done his research on Williams and hopes to live up to his reputation. 

“I know now that the number has a lot of significance to it, but I didn’t pick it for a reason," Mathis said. "Out of the options that I had, I felt like that was a good number for me to pick. That’s the reason why I picked that ... I know it's a pretty big deal out here." 

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