DeMarcus Walker, Brendan Langley and Carlos Henderson took their first steps at UCHealth Training Center and were introduced to the local media. (Photos by Gabriel Christus)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —**After being drafted by the Broncos in the second round, defensive end DeMarcus Walker couldn't sleep.
New Denver teammates like T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib had been texting him through the night to welcome him to the team, but as Walker dragged himself to bed, he held out hope that the most notable Bronco would reach out.
"The next thing I know, I said, 'If Von [Miller] texts me, I'm going to go crazy,'" Walker said. "I was on my other phone and literally about to go to sleep and something told me to just check my other phone, and it was him.
"I went crazy. I jumped out of the bed and went crazy."
The next morning, Walker boarded a plane to be officially introduced as a Bronco. As his plane descended, the Jacksonville, Florida, native looked through his seat's window and saw snow for the first time.
It may take a while for Walker to get accustomed to the occasional late-April and May snowfall in Colorado, but he's counting on his NFL transition to be much easier to handle.
"They wouldn't bring me in here if they didn't think I would be able to compete," Walker said at his introductory press conference Saturday. "I'm so happy to be here. It's a great defense. You guys know: the DBs, [DE Derek] Wolfe, Von, [OLB Shane] Ray, all those guys. It's going to be a complete pleasure just to be around those guys and just pick their brains because I really want to learn."
Defensive Line Coach Bill Kollar said in his brief remarks introducing Walker that he expects as much from the young lineman.
"We're really glad to add DeMarcus to the defensive line here," Kollar said. "We hope he obviously adds and gives us a lot of depth where we can get a little bit more rotation than we were able to do last year with the injuries and stuff we had. We feel he's a real good addition for us. We feel the No. 1 thing that he does is rush a passer. He had 16 sacks this year, which is obviously very impressive, so we hope to get a lot of good play out of him this year."
Walker also said he believes his attitude will contribute to the defense's swagger on the line, which is hoping to return to its 2015 heights against both the run and the pass. Dominance is the goal for this extremely talented group, and Walker's mindset couldn't fit better.
"[O]ne thing that I love to do is to dominate — just taking the will out of a man in this game football. That's just something that came natural, especially with my tough love that my parents showed me, and then just coming in with the attitude of just being able to dominate."
If he can do that at the next level, his opponents won't be able to sleep either.