It’s been clear for a while that Dalton Risner was primed to be the “sure thing” to help continue Kansas State’s Big 12-leading streak of consecutive years having a player selected in the NFL Draft. The only questions were when he’d be selected and where he’d be going.
Now we know. With the 41st overall pick, the Denver Broncos have selected Risner to join their ranks. With the selection, K-State has now had a player’s name called 26 years in a row. Also, at 41st overall, Risner is the highest draft pick for K-State since Josh Freeman went 17th overall in 2009, and Jordy Nelson went 36th overall in 2008. He also became the 6th-highest drafted player of the Bill Snyder era, following Terrence Newman (5th), Chris Canty (29th), Darren Howard and Quincy Morgan (33rd), and Nelson.
For Risner, this has multiple positive angles. Not only will he receive a big payday as an early 2nd-round draft pick, he’s also heading close to home, as the Wiggins, CO native will get to play for the team that he grew up cheering for. In many ways, it’s just like the man who guided Risner during his early days in Manhattan, as B.J. Finney also ended up with the team he grew up cheering for.
The First Team All-American and Big 12 Lineman of the Year will have the opportunity to compete immediately. The Broncos need help at both center and guard, and while Rinser played tackle for three years at K-State, he started his career at center and has the versatility to slide inside. Risner will likely have his first opportunity at guard, but don’t be surprised if he joins fellow former Wildcat tackle Cody Whitehair (who also played out of natural position at K-State) on the slide all the way to the middle of the line.