Each month, I will showcase a current Denver Broncos player and inform you of their lives and accomplishments before coming to Denver. In doing so, I hope to shine a light on each players own unique journey on the road to Mile High. This month’s featured player is center J.D. Walton.
Justin Daniel Walton was born on March 24, 1987 in Lawton, Oklahoma. He played his high school football at Allen High School in Allen, Texas where he played on the offensive line. As a junior, he recorded 59 pancake blocks and was a Second-Team All-District pick. In his senior season, he recorded 79 pancake blocks and helped Allen win the bi-district championship. During his high school career, he also earned First-Team All-District and First-Team All-County honors as an offensive lineman.
After high school, Walton received multiple Division I scholarship offers and eventually picked to attend Arizona State University to play college football. However, after redshirting his freshman year, Walton transferred to his home state and enrolled at Baylor University. After having to sit out his first year at Baylor due to NCAA transfer rules, Walton became a starter at center his sophomore year. He played 911 snaps in 2007, and the Bears’ offensive line as a unit yielded only 21 sacks that season. In his junior year, Walton once again started every game and earned 2008 honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. As an Outland Trophy and Rimington Trophy candidate going into his senior season, Walton again started every game and earned 112 knockdown blocks. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy and was named a 2009 College Football All-American and also earned All-Big 12 honors.
Walton was selected in the third round (80th overall) by the Denver Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft. With help needed at the position right away, he became the starting center for the Broncos from day one and during his rookie season, he allowed only three sacks in 619 pass plays. He once again started every game in his second season in 2011.
Going into the 2012 season, Walton will be an important part in helping improve the Denver Broncos passing offense and will assist in making the rushing offense even more potent that it was this past season. He was part of one of the strongest offensive line units in the league in 2011 and with most or all of the same members returning next season, look for Walton to have a good season snapping the ball and helping try to lead the Broncos back to the NFL Playoffs.
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