ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- As the picks passed Thursday night, some members of Bradley Roby's inner circle began to fret that he would fall out of the first round, a circumstance that seemed unfathomable through the pre-draft process.
Roby kept cool. As other cornerbacks were taken -- Justin Gilbert by the Browns, Kyle Fuller by the Bears, Darqueze Dennard by the Bengals, and Jason Verrett by the Chargers -- Roby's belief that he would still be a first-rounder was unshaken.
"I was like, 'There's no way I'm falling out of the first round,'" said Roby. "My mother on the other hand, she was completely different. She's like, oh yeah, we have to be here at 7 (p.m. EDT Friday) instead of 8.
"I was like, 'Mom, there's four picks left. How are you going to say that already?' Just keep the faith."
And Roby was fully cognizant of the silver lining to his slide down the draft board: the likelihood of playing for a winner. That's always been on his mind, going back to when he made his college choice, opting for Ohio State instead of Vanderbilt.
"I think the biggest thing was that they didn't win enough (at Vanderbilt)," Roby said. "I told you, 'I'm a winner.' I hate to lose. That's why I fit in here so much because I have a winner's mentality. Vanderbilt is a great school in a great city and that was a great opportunity for me, but they just didn't win enough."
That choice changed his destiny. At Vanderbilt, he would have been a wide receiver, the position he played growing up, When he arrived in Columbus, he switched to cornerback. The winning didn't start right away; in Roby's freshman season, the Buckeyes went 6-7 in the aftermath of Jim Tressel's ouster. But they won 24 of their next 26 games, with Roby holding down one of the cornerback spots.
Roby wants to win, and a team that has won three consecutive division titles and 37 games the last three years fits perfectly.
"That was the positive thing about it. OK, you didn't go very high. But you're going to a great team. What's more important?
"That's all the (draft) position is about _ about money. I don't really play for money. I've never really played for money before. I'll have money now. It's not about that to me. It's all about winning. Just to get to this place, a winning team."
And when the call came from John Elway and John Fox, he could put his mother at ease.
"I felt a sigh of relief," he said.