Becoming a Bronco: Josey Jewell recalls his draft process and why Denver was where he wanted to be

“Right after the Combine, I went back to Iowa City. I just kind of hung out there, worked out with [Hawkeyes director of strength and conditioning] Coach [Chris] Doyle at Iowa there and a bunch of other friends who were on the team that year and were draft-eligible.

“I did that stuff and then also had visits to teams. I had three visits, and this was one of them. …

“I asked some previous guys what they did, just because I had no idea of what to wear, the attire for the day and stuff like that, and how you kind of want to present yourself. And they told me, ‘Present yourself how you are. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not.’ I just did that, didn’t dress to fancy or anything like that. I just wanted to be known as a humble, hard-working and smart guy. Those were the three things I tried to focus on, coming here and doing the interview process: just to keep those three things in mind and try to make sure they got that out of me.

“I didn’t really think about [draft rumors] too much. It’s always in the back of your head, like, ‘Oh, I wonder where I could go.’ But at the end of the day, you’ve just got to work hard every day back at home or wherever you’re training and be able to get your best self, whenever you do get drafted. Because then, when you do get drafted, that’s where it starts, no matter when you get drafted.

“It matters how long you stay on the team. And if you get drafted late, who cares? If you’re on a team for eight years and a guy who gets drafted in the second round is done after three, it don’t matter. So, I just tried to focus on that throughout the process. …

“After that, I was still working out in Iowa City. From there, it turned into the week of the draft, and I went home. …

“It was at my parents’ house. I had I don’t know how many people there, like 15 or so. … A bunch of my friends were there. I just wanted to make sure I was relaxed and in a good state, and I wanted to share the moment with them, because I knew it was kind of special and it definitely only happens once. …

“We all just kind of sat down and watched it. We watched Day 2 kind of fly by and — oopsie! — I’m not drafted. …

“I did get a call from Green Bay, and it was a reporter. It was on Day 2, and I got a call from Green Bay. It said Green Bay on [the area code] and Green Bay was about to pick. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ And I answer it, and he’s like, ‘Hey, I’m a reporter for da-da-da,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, don’t call me again.’ Like, are you kidding me? Why would you call me right now? …

“Then Day 3 came and I was drafted. But I was happy; this is the team where I wanted to go, really. There’s a couple teams I wanted to go, and this was my favorite. …

“It was crazy. I didn’t know what was going on, because I saw the stuff flashing on the board, and it was the first however many picks in the fourth round there. Once I got the call and I saw Denver, I was pretty excited. … When Elway called me, it was awesome. I watched him playing — my dad was a big Broncos and Rams fan, so we always used to watch the Broncos and him play. It was surreal. …

“I was happy. This is the team where I wanted to go, really. There’s a couple teams I wanted to go, and this was my favorite. …

“I was a little nervous [flying to Denver]. It was a new place, new defense, new people. I was just trying to get ready to connect with people really quick and try to be able to show them I’m a hard worker and just go day by day. I really take it second by second and just whatever you can do at that time, do it to your best ability and see where that takes you the next day after that. …

“My dad always says, ‘Stay humble.’ … My mom is the same way: ‘Just work hard and show them what you’re worth. And at the end of the day, if you go 100 percent and show them what you’ve got, there’s nothing else you can do. So just try to give it all every day you have.’ …

“It's pretty cool. You grow up dreaming about that and dreaming about making it to the NFL. Really, my first dream was being able to make it to college football, but the second one and the bigger one is to be able to make it to the end and make it to the draft. It was just really cool to be able to make it to that, and I think I’ll remember that for a while.

“I don’t really think about it too much right now, to be honest. Everything is behind me on that one, and as soon as maybe I get done playing football, maybe I’ll look back and be like, ‘Wow, that was cool.’ But right now, like I said, it’s day to day still with me, and I haven’t really had a chance to look back at any of my careers yet, with high school, college and stuff like that. But I’m just trying to get better every day.”

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