Broncos Brock Osweiler, Zane Beadles, Lonie Paxton Recall Their Draft Days


Zane Beadles (68) enters the field before the first quarter of the AFC divisional round playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

The draft is something that every NFL player remembers, whether they were drafted or not. As many have found, turning pro isn’t a right. It’s a privilege.

I caught up with Denver Broncos guard Zane Beadles, quarterback Brock Osweiler, and former long snapper Lonnie Paxton on draft night for one-on-one interviews to discuss what their draft experiences were like (I interviewed Beadles and Paxton at a bowling/draft watching party for their respective charities, The Zane Beadles Foundation and Active Force Foundation).

Beadles was taken in the second round (13th pick) of the 2010 draft out of Utah. He was watching the draft with family and friends before Josh McDaniels called him.

“I had a group of people, family and friends, watch the first ten picks of the second round,” Beadles said. “I was driving myself crazy, and decided to go get some food like any offensive lineman would, and got the call three picks later. It was a great experience. I was literally shaking on the phone as I got the call. It was definitely nerve racking.”

Osweiler was also taken in the second round. The Broncos selected him out of Arizona State as the 25th pick in the second round. Osweiler said that on Thursday night, he wasn’t too nervous because he wasn’t really expected to go in the first round. When day two rolled around, Osweiler was ready to put an NFL cap on.

“Friday, I woke up and had breakfast with all my best friends,” Osweiler said. “I came back and just kind of spent the day with my family at our house. As the pick got closer and closer to Denver, I started to get a little bit more nervous because I really wanted to end up in Denver. I didn’t want them to pass on me. Sure enough, I was holding my cell phone in my hand. It started vibrating. I looked down and it was a 303 number. The rest is history.”

Lonie Paxton (66) warms up before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum. Denver defeated Oakland 38-24. (Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports)

Beadles and Osweiler were drafted early, but the most successful of the three men that I talked to Thursday night went undrafted. Paxton played nine seasons for the New England Patriots and won three Super Bowl rings with them. He famously snapped the ball to Adam Vinatieri for the game winning 48-yard field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI. Then Paxton went on to play three seasons for the Broncos.

“It was more of just a BBQ and a hangout really because I knew nothing was going to happen,” Paxton said of his draft. “It was fun to see the players I was competing with that year get drafted. It was more of a reality than the past years. After the draft on the second day, it was kind of wait around and see what happens. It was really take it as it goes and enjoy the moment. If anything happens that day, appreciate it. If anyone wants to take me two weeks later, I appreciate it.”

Every player has a unique draft story, and I appreciate Beadles, Osweiler, and Paxton sharing theirs with us. Keep it dialed in at PO for more coverage of the 2013 NFL draft.

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