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Broncos Draft History: Offensive Line

As we wrap up the preview of the offensive linemen available in the 2012 NFL Draft, let's take a look back at the offensive linemen who the Broncos have drafted. All five of the starters on the team's 2011 offensive line were acquired by the club via the draft.

The team has used a second-round pick on offensive linemen in each of the past two drafts, selecting Orlando Franklin with the 46th overall pick in 2011 and adding Zane Beadles with the 45th overall cohice in 2010.

Below are some of the notable offensive linemen drafted by the Broncos throughout the team's history.


Player:Orlando Franklin
Year Drafted:2011
Round:2 - 46th Overall

Broncos Career: Franklin started all 16 games at right tackle for the Broncos in 2011, becoming the eighth rookie offensive lineman in franchise history to start the season opener, and just the second to do so at right tackle. Additionally, the tackle was named to Football Outsiders' All-Rookie Team.


Player:Zane Beadles
Year Drafted:2010
Round:2 - 45th Overall

Broncos Career: Beadles ranks fourth among offensive linemen who entered the league in 2010 with 30 career starts in his first two seasons. He was named to *The Sporting News' *All-Rookie Team after opening eight contests at left guard and six contests at right tackle, becoming the first NFL rookie since 2002 to start at least six games at two different offensive line positions.


Player:J.D. Walton
Year Drafted:2010
Round:3 - 80th Overall

Broncos Career: Walton has been a mainstay at center, having missed just one snap (due to an untied shoelace in his rookie season) during his first two NFL seasons. He is one of just three offensive linemen who entered the NFL in 2010 to start all 32 games to begin their career.


Player:Ryan Clady
Year Drafted:2008
Round:1 - 12th Overall
College:Boise State

Broncos Career:A two-time Pro Bowler (2009, 2011), Clady has started all 64 games in his first four NFL seasons. In 2009, Clady earned his first Pro Bowl selection and was a consensus All-Pro. With that honor, he became only the fifth tackle since the 1970 merger to be named a first-team AP All-Pro by his second professional season. Clady is just the fifth offensive lineman in NFL history to start every game and make at least two Pro Bowls during his first four seasons.


Player:Chris Kuper
Year Drafted:2006
Round:5 - 161st Overall
College: North Dakota

Broncos Career:The Alaska native appeared in just one game as a rookie before taking over at guard his second season. In 2008, Kuper was the NFL's only 16-game starting guard to not allow a sack, according to Stats Inc. He has only allowed 12 sacks in 73 career starts, including just 1.5 in 2011. Kuper earned a spot on Rick Gosselin's (Dallas Morning News) All-Pro Team for his play in 2011.


Player:Tom Nalen
Year Drafted:1994
Round:7c - 218th Overall
College:Boston College

Broncos Career:Nalen was drafted in the seventh round of the 1994 NFL Draft and took over the starting spot at center in 1995. He was an integral part of two Super Bowls and played in five Pro Bowls. Over his career in orange and blue, six different running backs had 1,000-yard rushing seasons, including Terrell Davis' 2,008 in 1998.


Player:Ken Lanier
Year Drafted:1981
Round:5 - 125th Overall
College:Florida State

Broncos Career:Like other Broncos' offensive lineman, it took Lanier a year before he cracked the starting lineup, but once he did he remained there for 11 seasons, starting 178 consecutive games, including playoffs. Lanier started all three Super Bowls he appeared and was named team captain for Super Bowl XXIV. Was affectionally nicknamed, "The Rock on the Right Side."


Player:Keith Bishop
Year Drafted:1980
Round:6 - 157th Overall

Broncos Career:A career Bronco, Bishop started 95 career games from 1980-89 including Super Bowl XXI and XXII. In 1986 and 1987, Bishop earned Pro Bowl nods and he was named to the 50th Anniversary Team.

Other offensive lineman drafted:

Year Rd. No. Name College
2010 6 183 Eric Olsen Notre Dame
2007 3 70 Ryan Harris Notre Dame
2005 6 200 Chris Myers Miami (Fla.)
2003 1 20 George Foster Georgia
2001 4a 113 Ben Hamilton Minnesota
2000 4b 112 Cooper Carlisle Florida
1997 3 67 Dan Neil Texas
1989 2a 41 Doug Widell Boston Collge
1983 1 4 Chris Hinton Northwestern
1983 2 31 Mark Cooper Miami (Fla.)
1977 4 101 Billy Bryan Duke
1974 3 68 Claudie Minor San Diego State
1973 3a 54 Paul Howard BYU

Next week will preview the defensive backs.

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