As the 2019 NFL Draft approaches, we'll speak with several current Broncos about their own pre-draft experiences. In their own words, they'll explain how they felt during the lead-up to draft night — and what that life-changing night was like to experience.
We begin the series with wide receiver Courtland Sutton, a second-round pick in 2018 out of Southern Methodist University.
"[The process] was pretty hectic. It's a lot of not knowing. You have a lot of teams who will talk to you, and you just don't know where you're going to go. You're kind of just hoping that God puts you in the right spot. At that point, you've done all the physical things. You've done the tests, you've done everything you possibly can. At that point, it's on the teams to say, 'Do we really like this guy enough to take him wherever we're going to take him?'
"You don't know who's going to bring you in for a workout. You get like a week's notice. Your agent's like, 'Hey, you've got a workout with this team.' Or, 'You've got an official visit with this team.' You don't really know when it's going to happen, and you don't know what to expect when you get there, because none of us have ever been through it before. You kind of get there and you continue to do what you've done up to that point. If you're a guy that doesn't have those workouts, you're just working out, waiting for the end of April to roll around so you can get to the draft.
"I talked to the Broncos one time, and that was at the Combine. I had an official visit with them at the Combine, and that was the only time I talked to them.
"I really didn't put too much pressure on myself for the first night. I had heard that if anything, [I would be drafted] late first round or early second. So I had a small gathering with my family for the first night — nothing too big. I knew I had a chance to go the second day, so I had a bigger thing for family and friends for the second night. We were just playing it by ear and seeing what was going to happen. We knew all the teams that had picks in the top five-to-10 picks in the second round, they all needed a receiver. So we were just playing it by ear, seeing what was going to happen. When I saw the 303 [area code] pop up on my phone, I was just super excited, because the first thing that popped into my head was that [SMU alum] Emmanuel [Sanders] was there. And then I started thinking, 'That's a winning team. That's a winning organization. I'm pretty sure that being there, I'm going to be able to win a lot of Super Bowls.'"
"[That night] was amazing. It's still pinned on my Twitter, because I watch it and I still get chills whenever I'm on the phone. My family's in there, and they don't know who I'm talking to. … I could've said any team, but being able to say I was going to be a Denver Bronco, they were all super excited for me, because they all knew the same things I knew. I get to go to an amazing organization, I get to go to an amazing city, I get to go play with Emmanuel. Anyone who's followed that story [knows that] he grew up 15 minutes [away], we both went to SMU and now we get to play together here. All the same things that I was excited about being able to be a part of this organization, my family was excited about, too. It was awesome to share that with them."