ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Early in the third round, the Broncos executed a trade to ensure they added another explosive player to their offense.
Denver traded its third-rounder (No. 87) and a fourth-rounder (No. 120) to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the No. 67 overall selection -- the fourth pick in the third round -- and chose San Diego State running back Ronnie Hillman.
"(He is a) very explosive running back who has the ability to score every time he touches the ball," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway tweeted. "Happy he's a Bronco."
Hillman started 20 of 26 games at San Diego State, carrying the ball 573 times for 3,243 yards and 36 touchdowns.
In addition, he caught 33 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns in his career.
His rushing yardage ranks third in school history and fifth in Mountain West Conference annals. He rushed for 100 yards or more in 15 games for the Aztecs.
He topped some of Marshall Faulk's old school records, including his 1,711-yard rushing season and nine 100-yard performances in 2011.
"That's college," Hillman said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "It's nice to have those things. But now I have a bigger scale. Now I have to chase his NFL records. I've talked to him a couple times. He said just get after it and do what I can do."
Of his 36 touchdown runs, 19 were for 10 yards or longer -- including nine for at least 40 yards and six for 50 or more yards -- demonstrating his big-play ability.
His longest run was a 99-yard touchdown against Wyoming last season.
The 5-foot-9, 200-pound back timed a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine.
Hillman doesn't believe that playing at a small school will affect his success at the NFL level.
"Marsall Faulk came from San Diego State, and he's in the Hall of Fame," he said "It's not about the school, it's about the talent and when you get to the league how you show that – that you can play on the big stage."
NFL Network Mike Mayock loved the selection.
"He's a guy that I think provides instant offense for the Denver Broncos," Mayock said on NFL Network's draft broadcast. "Peyton Manning's going to love him."