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Broncos Active on Day 3

Posted Apr 30, 2011

With the first of five picks on the third day of the draft, the Broncos selected Oklahoma safety Quinton Carter.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On the third day of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Broncos snared five players on an afternoon that included a trade with the Green Bay Packers.

FOURTH ROUND

With the No. 108 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Broncos selected Oklahoma safety Quinton Carter.

He joins second-round pick Rahim Moore as the second safety drafted by the Broncos this year.

"Rahim coming in, myself coming in, I'm sure we'll have a great future, a strong backfield, and we'll also learn from Brian Dawkins, who is my favorite safety in the game," Carter said.

The Sooner was voted to the American Football Coaches Association All-America Team as a senior in 2010.

In his career, he accumulated 221 tackles, eight interceptions, 13 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. He played in 44 games at Oklahoma, starting 29.

Carter said he doesn't know whether he will fit in at free safety or strong safety, but he played both in college and is just excited to hit the field as a professional.

"I'm really excited to be part of the team, and wherever they put me I'm very grateful for my opportunity," he said. "I'm ready to go to work being part of the Denver Broncos."

FIFTH ROUND

In the fifth round, the Broncos made their second trade of the draft, this time with the Green Bay Packers. The Broncos received No. 129 and a seventh-rounder, No. 204, in exchange for their fifth and sixth rounders, No. 141 and No. 186.

With No. 129, Denver selected Portland State tight end Julius Thomas, who began his career with the Vikings as a basketball player before transitioning to football in 2010.

"All the people that encouraged me to play football expressed that I have the ability, build and athleticism to play that would transition to the tight end position," Thomas said at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. "Our head coach thought I could do it, it was just a matter of commitment and hard work. It was the plan from the beginning and they stayed on top of me all year trying to prepare me for the next level."

In his one season of organized college football, Thomas vaulted onto the first-team All-Big Sky Conference squad, catching 29 passes for 453 yards and 2 touchdowns.

He reportedly impressed scouts at the East-West Shrine Bowl, showing his athleticism in practice and then accounting for the West team's only points in the game, catching a 5-yard touchdown pass and following that up by catching the 2-point conversion.

Thomas said that assistant coaches at the combine told him he has all the ability, but he has a long way to go to reach his potential in the NFL.

"I think that is something teams are excited to hear about," he said. "I haven’t really tapped out my potential."

The tight end said he knew football was his calling when he would wake up early every day halfway through spring practice and think about all the things he couldn't wait to learn and improve upon.

Now he hopes to transition to the NFL as well as another basketball-to-football player has -- San Diego's Antonio Gates.

"I take it as an honor to be included in the same sentence as a lot of guys who have played basketball and transitioned to football and done well," Thomas said. "That's a standard that I want to hold for myself, being successful in making that transition. Being compared to Antonio Gates is a great start for me. I'm going to go ahead and work as hard as I can to make that comparison as similar as possible."

The newest Bronco mentioned Shannon Sharpe as one of the players he admired growing up, and he had an inkling he could head to Denver after he had a good workout in Portland with Broncos Tight Ends Coach Clancy Barone.

"You try not to get your hopes up too much, but when people ask what team I hoped to play for, it was definitely the Broncos," he said. "I had my fingers crossed, and I was praying I would be a Denver Bronco next year. I'm excited. This is all I asked for."

SIXTH ROUND

With the No. 189 pick in the draft, the Broncos took Cal inside linebacker Mike Mohamed -- the third linebacker of the club's 2011 draft class.

"I guess they thought they needed a little bit of competition, and competition is always good -- it always makes a team better," Mohamed said. "I'm just looking to go in there and give it my all and try to make the Broncos a better team."

Mohamed played in 50 of 51 possible games for the Bears, making 26 starts. He earned first-team All-Pac 10 honors in his first season as a full-time starter in 2009 after earning honorable mention all-conference honors in 2008. He closed out his career as a second-team All-Pac 10 player.

In his career, he racked up the fourth-most tackles in school history, 340, along with 20 tackles for loss, seven sacks, seven interceptions, nine pass breakups, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, nine quarterback hurries and two defensive touchdowns.

"To be honest, I thought I would go a little bit earlier than what I did, but there's a reason for everything," Mohamed said. "Going to the Broncos in here the sixth, that's what was meant to be."

He laughed as he recalled his conversation with Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway when he got the call that he was headed to Denver.

"He told me, 'Imagine a Stanford guy drafting a Cal guy,'" Mohamed said. "You would never think that in a million years."

The four-time Pac-10 All-Academic team player said he plans to play special teams to cement his foothold on the team, then bring his intensity to defense.

"I think the first thing that stands out is that I'm a ball hawk," he said. "I'm relentless. I'll always try to get to the ball, obviously within the parameters of the defense. I'm never giving up on plays. My motto is, 'All or nothing.'"

SEVENTH ROUND

With the No. 204 pick in the draft, the Broncos took another tight end -- Nevada's Virgil Green.

The 2010 first-team All-WAC player caught 72 passes in his career with the Wolfpack, accumulating 939 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

"I refuse to be covered by linebackers and I don’t like being covered by DBs either," Green said at the combine. "So I think that’s going to help me out with route-running and breaking away from defenders. I’m confident that my speed will help me out."

Even at 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds, Green said his speed hasn't taken a hit from entering college as a wide receiver.

"With me, I naturally feel that I’m fast," he said. "I came into Nevada as a receiver so mentally I don’t think I can ever slow down that much, because in my brain I think I’m just a big receiver. So I don’t ever worry about my speed and my weight at all."

But Green's game isn't all about speed and pass-catching -- he developed a knack for big blocks at Nevada as well.

In 2009, he helped pave the way for the nation’s top rushing offense, a record-breaking group that became the first team in NCAA history to have three players rush for 1,000 yards in the same season.

"In the pistol offense we run the ball 50, 60 times a game," he explained. "Going into it, I was like, 'Man, I don’t know about this run blocking thing,' but after you get accustomed to how the practices worked -- as hard-nosed, tough, grinding -- you start to enjoy blocking and manhandling people. It’s something I’ve grown to love."

At the combine, Green led all players in the vertical jump, was top three among tight ends in 40-yard dash, broad jump and 60-yard shuttle, and was the fourth-best tight end in the three-cone drill.

With pick No. 247, the club's final selection in the draft, Denver took Oklahoma defensive end Jeremy Beal.

The 2010 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year finished second in OU history with 29 career sacks, and second in school history with 56.5 tackles for loss.

While he accumulated 224 tackles and 10 forced fumbles, Beal said he prides himself on being able to get his hands on the ball as well. He broke up 14 passes in his career and intercepted one.

It all starts with watching film," he said at the combine. "You have to know when they’re going to throw the ball short or make a quick pass. If a team does that a lot, you’re not going to get to the quarterback, so you have to get your hands up and get the pass."

The three-time first-team All-Big 12 selection was the first player in Sooners history with at least 8.5 sacks in three different seasons, and the first Sooner to accumulate more than 200 yards lost on sacks.

With all that production, Beal said he can look back and laugh at the fact that only two schools -- Duke and Wyoming -- offered him scholarships before Oklahoma swooped in.

At the combine, Beal said one of his main focuses now that he's a professional will be learning how to deal with fans and the media.

"At a big school like Oklahoma, you get a lot of media, and if you’re going to play in the NFL you have to deal with that," he said.

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