As soon as the final selection of the 2012 NFL Draft was off the board, the Broncos front office was once again hard at work.
The team began furiously working the phones to sign a handful of college free agents, in the end signing 13.
The 13th pickup? Wide receiver Eric Page.
Highly coveted after his record-setting college career at Toledo, Page had several offers to mull over from interested NFL teams. So he took his time before deciding to become a Bronco.
“Denver is a great city,” Page said about why he picked the Broncos. “I just talked it over with my family. We had other teams in our minds, but Denver was the best team for me.”
Despite forgoing his senior year of college for the NFL, Page left Toldeo as the Mid-American Conference’s all-time leading receiver. His 306 career receptions are just 43 behind the NCAA record-holder, Ryan Broyles, who played four seasons at Oklahoma.
Page finished his career at Toledo with 3,446 yards and 25 touchdowns in addition to averaging 27.3 yards on 80 kickoff returns with five total return touchdowns. He was named first-team All-America after returning three kicks for touchdowns as a sophomore and ranking third in the country with a 31-yard kick return average.
He ranked second in the country last season with 125 catches and finished fifth in the nation as a sophomore with 99. During his first year as a wideout, Page finished 20th in the country with 82 catches. The former high school quarterback amassed more than 1,100 receiving yards in each of his three seasons as a Rocket.
Despite going undrafted, Page doesn’t regret his decision to leave school early to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.
“I think everybody wants to be drafted,” he said. “That’s your goal when you come out of college. But I ended up in a good position. I was blessed by God to end up here and I’m happy.”
He has already opened some coaches’ eyes with his acrobatic catches and return ability in minicamps and OTAs.
Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Rodgers mentioned Page as a player who could have an immediate impact in the return game and Head Coach John Fox echoed that sentiment in a conference call with the team’s season ticket holders.
That’s a role that Page would embrace should he get that opportunity.
“I like special teams,” Page said. “I like kick return and punt return just because it’s another chance to get the ball in my hands. … We had a great kick return team at Toledo. They opened the holes and I just had the vision to follow what the coaches told me to do.”
Regardless of where the coaches want Page to play, the versatile player said that he’ll do his best to show that he has the skills to succeed.
“I’m willing to do anything,” he said. “If they want to put me at kick return or punt return, gunner, receiver – it doesn’t matter to me. I just want to play and that’s my goal.”
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