Ahead of a two-day rookie minicamp kicking off Friday, the Broncos agreed to terms with fifth-round offensive lineman Luke Wattenberg, the Denver Post's Ryan O'Halloran reported Wednesday.
The 171st overall pick of the 2022 draft, Wattenberg will sign a four-year contract worth approximately $3.95 million, per the NFL's slotted pay scale. He's the first member of Denver's nine-man class to put pen to paper.
Wattenberg (6-4, 300) is among the more experienced prospects to enter the league, having tallied six years with the Washington Huskies where he played across the offensive line — from left tackle to left guard to center. The California native spent his final two collegiate seasons at the pivot, earning the program's John P. Angel Lineman of the Year award in 2021.
Although Wattenberg projected as an undrafted free agent, the Broncos traded up eight spots on Day 3 to secure his services, surrendering a seventh-round selection in the process.
”I think he's one of those guys—I mean you always want to have ‘flex’ [flexibility] on the inside," general manager George Paton said. "I think his ability to play center is huge. You always want to have a lot of centers on your team anytime you go into a season. I think that's huge. His ability to play guard if we need him to definitely helps. Just his ability to run off the ball is something we really liked. We were really lucky to get him. We had to trade up to get him and we were all very excited.”
Wattenberg is expected to remain at center with the Broncos and provide depth behind incumbent starting veteran Lloyd Cushenberry.
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