After the final round of the NFL Draft in April, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway revealed that the club had made a concerted effort to draft more “mature” players — including a number of seniors and college captains.
“I’m not trying to say that we weren’t mature, but I’m just saying that you need guys that when you’re going through a tough time, they’ll be able to be mentally tough and get things turned around,” Elway said. “That’s why we decided to go more in that direction, to say that if things got tough for a couple weeks, we’ve got to get things turned around.”
The comments were four months removed from a sharp rebuke from defensive end Derek Wolfe on what he described as “entitled” rookies.
“You can feel it with the rookies every year. It’s like they get more and more entitled.”
So, when it came to the Broncos 2018 draft class proving themselves more mature and less entitled to the media during rookie orientation on Friday, Alfred Williams was impressed.
“Derek Wolfe came on with us and said that these guys who come in here feel privileged,” Williams said on Friday. “From everything that I’ve heard today, there’s not a guy who was part of the interview process that you felt like was a privileged guy.”
Williams specifically pointed to former University of Colorado standout, and undrafted college free agent, Phillip Lindsay.
“I heard Phillip Lindsay, and all he was doing was praising the room and how proud he was to be a part of the room,” Williams said. “He mentioned everybody in the room. And he was smart enough to know everybody in the room and did not leave anybody out.”
Lindsay, when asked about the mature nature of the draft class, said, “It’s a mature group. We’re learning from each other, like you said. We’re coming from all different backgrounds, but you can always learn.”
And Lindsay’s comments strike a stark difference in tone from what Wolfe described just a few months prior.
“… It’s like they think they know everything. You can’t tell them anything,” Wolfe said. They’re like, ‘I’m going to the Broncos.’ They think automatically them just coming here is going to be … we’re going to a championship. Like, they don’t have to contribute.
“It’s not like college. You don’t get your little red shirt year. You need to come in and contribute right away. There are only 53 guys.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.
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