Football / Sports

Michigan's Schofield pleased to land with Broncos

When John Elway calls, it makes sense to listen.

But it seems that wasn't easy for former Michigan lineman Michael Schofield.

In a video posted on the Denver Broncos' website, Elway called to tell Schofield they were picking him at 95th overall.

The news went over pretty well in Orland Park, Ill.

There were so many people in the background that Elway had to hold the phone away from his ear and said "he can't hear anything" to those around him.

It was the rush of a life-changing moment.

One Schofield barely saw coming.

Schofield had strong contact with a few NFL teams leading up to the draft and even some workouts.

Yet Denver barely registered with him, so when they grabbed him at 95th overall, five spots from the end of Friday's third round, he was surprised.

"I really didn't talk to the Broncos that much, maybe a conversation here or there with the Senior Bowl or at the combine," he said on a conference call with Denver reporters after the selection. "It was kind of a shock, but I'm so excited to join the program."

While tackles picked late in the third round are rarely expected to compete for starting spots immediately, Schofield was thrilled to be with the defending AFC champion.

"That is the best possible situation, that's everyone's dream coming into the NFL, running into Super Bowl contention, especially an organization like the Broncos and a quarterback like Peyton Manning," he said. "It's a dream come true."

As Michigan's second player selected after Taylor Lewan, who went No. 11 overall to Tennessee, it's the first time since 2008 that U-M had multiple players selected in the first three rounds. Schofield becomes only the fifth Wolverine drafted in the top three rounds since 2009.

He was rated as by ESPN as the No. 13 tackle and No. 145 overall player in the draft, so getting picked 50 spots ahead of that showed how much the Broncos valued him.

Elway, Denver's General Manager and Executive Vice President of Football Operations, said in a press conference shown on the Broncos' website that they did character checks on Schofield and their other Friday pick, Indiana receiver Cody Latimer, and they came back "squeaky clean."

On the field, the Broncos think there are multiple ways they can use him.

"Michael Schofield's a guy that's very versatile," Elway said. "A big guy that has a lot of upside. He's really young and we believe he can grow. He's 6-6, 300 now and we think he's got the ability to get bigger, stronger. A guy that has tremendous versatility, can play the guard as well as tackle. He'll bring great competition to the offensive line."

After the Broncos' Super Bowl struggles up front, drafting an offensive lineman early made sense, at least to push the existing players. Elway said they expect players drafted in the first three rounds to compete for playing time.

And the party going on at Schofield's parents' home with family and friends reflected that as Denver coach John Fox told Schofield on the phone.

"You should enjoy, you worked long and hard for this," Fox told him. "You've got a chance to come to Denver, be a Bronco and chase that world championship with us."

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