The Broncos on Tuesday announced the signing of Zane Beadles, the team’s second-round pick in April’s draft. That leaves just the two first-rounders, Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow, unsigned.
Beadles started 50 of 51 games at Utah, and by the end of his career, he had been voted the Utes’ Most Valuable Offensive Lineman twice and earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors in two seasons.
“He’s a very smart player,” Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. “He’s tough, a good finisher, and he’s played a lot of games.”
After redshirting as a freshman, Beadles was the team’s starting left guard in 2006, starting 12 games. His other 38 starts came at left tackle, a position he switched to as a junior in 2007. That year, he earned second-team All-MWC and first-team Academic All-MWC honors.
As a junior, the first-team MWC lineman blocked for a Utah offense that generated 400.9 yards per game and led the MWC while ranking 15th nationally in scoring at 36.9 points per game. He was a Lombardi Award candidate as a senior, and was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America in addition to earning All-MWC first-team honors for the second consecutive year.
In his final two seasons with the Utes, he allowed just 3.5 sacks and three quarterback pressures on 819 pass plays.
Beadles took snaps with the first unit offense during OTAs earlier in the offseason, and said he feels comfortable at both tackle and guard — so he is working hard to learn both positions.
“I take pride in that,” Beadles said. “I try to learn the offense as a whole and I think it makes me a better player when I know what the guy next to me is doing … I try to be able to go back and forth between inside and outside techniques.”
Regardless of where the team needs him in 2010, Beadles is excited to contribute in the NFL.
“It’s always been a dream, and you get here and you kind of realize that you made it to the league, but now there’s a lot of work ahead of you,” he said. “I’m looking forward to that.”
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com