On this week’s edition of Broncos’ player profile, we take an inside look at rookie offensive lineman Dalton Risner.

It seems only appropriate that we feature the second-round pick after practically carrying running back Phillip Lindsay into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter of last Sunday’s game at Green Bay.

Risner was born in Branson, Missouri, but grew up in Wiggins, Colorado and considers himself a Wiggins native. A small town out on the eastern plains of Colorado with a population under 900, Wiggins is where Risner learned to play football.

By the time he attended Wiggins High School, Risner had developed a vigorous work ethic through his father Mitch, whose drive to make Dalton a better football player rubbed off on the young lineman. Mitch was also the head coach of the Wiggins High School football team, so Dalton figured to be around football an awful lot.

The hard work started to pay dividends and the accolades began to pile up for Risner. He was named an all-state player in 2012 and 2013 by Root Sports and one of the Denver Post’s 25-best high school football players in the state in 2013, regardless of school classification. Mind you, Wiggins is a 1A school with roughly 38 students per grade.

The recruiting service, Rivals, who does its share of player rankings, had Risner as the sixth-best center in the nation and the fifth-best overall player in Colorado as a high school senior. Risner garnered the attention of scouts enough to be selected to the All-American Bowl, essentially a high school football all-star game held annually at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

In March of 2013, Risner committed to Kansas State, where he would have an illustrious college career. The list of awards that the offensive lineman accumulated as a Wildcat is extensive.

Risner started all 50 games he played in his five-year career at Kansas State, 38 at right tackle and the other 12 at center. In 2015, his redshirt freshman season, he started every game at center and was chosen as a Freshman All-American by publications such as Campus Insiders, Athlon and Scout.

From 2016-18, Risner moved to right tackle and was named first-team All-Big 12 three seasons in a row, the fourth offensive lineman in Big 12 Conference history to do so. His best season came in his senior year, during which the conference’s coaches voted him Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and numerous publications named him first and second team All-American. Risner also had the distinct honor of being just one of five three-year team captains in Kansas State history, a testament to his leadership ability.

The Broncos’ selected Risner in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft at No. 41 overall. Risner was the Broncos’ second draft pick, behind Noah Fant, who was taken No. 20 overall and one pick before Drew Lock was drafted at No. 42.

Jul 18, 2019; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos offensive tackle Dalton Risner (66) during drills at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the Broncos, Risner has played left guard instead of tackle, showcasing nice versatility, but more importantly has excelled at that guard position. Some sports writers, including a few who cover the team, have labeled Risner as the Broncos’ best offensive lineman.

On the play during last Sunday’s game in which Risner helped escort Lindsay across the goal line, Risner compared the play to wrangling cattle back in his hometown of Wiggins.

So far, Risner has been a bright spot and has been arguably the team’s best draft pick in 2019 through the first three games. With that relentless work ethic he learned growing up, in addition to his natural ability, it should be expected that Risner will do all he can to make the Broncos a better team on offense.

Risner and the 0-3 Broncos will be back in action this Sunday afternoon as they host the (1-2) Jacksonville Jaguars. That game kicks off at 2:25 p.m. MT.