In part three of our series of interviews with new Denver Broncos, we feature Broncos’ cornerback Alphonso Smith from Wake Forest University.
On the first day of the NFL Draft, the Broncos traded their own 2010 first-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for the 37th overall selection. Denver used that second round pick to take Smith.
We spoke with Alphonso when he visited Broncos headquarters on the second day of the draft.
Mike Rice: You’re a Denver Bronco. Can you believe it?
Alphonso Smith: I can. I can. I had a pretty good visit when I came out here and I left with a pretty good feeling in my heart that it was a possibility that I could be a Bronco.
MR: But until you hear your name, I guess you never really know, do you?
AS: You never really know. But when Coach McDaniels called I was like, ‘Yes, Broncos. At least it’s a team I want to go to.’ I’m still kind of soaking it in. I can believe it but at the same time I really can’t believe it.
MR: Why were you excited to potentially be with the Broncos?
AS: Coach Nolan, who’s the d-coordinator, (runs) basically the same defense we ran at Wake Forest. Being comfortable with that would give me a chance to play early. And just having the chance to play with guys I’ve admired like Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill and Andre Goodman and guys like that. I’ve admired all of these guys and just to get the chance to work with them, along side them and try to win championships with them is just really refreshing. There’s no better situation for a rookie DB. Most guys have to go in and try to learn as they go. At least I have guys that have multi-Pro Bowlers under their belt that can guide me and teach me and help me understand and show me how to make plays and guide me to a Pro Bowl myself.
MR: I know you’ve heard this before but the Broncos traded a first round pick to move up and then select you. Does that make a statement to you about not only how much they wanted you but believe in your talent?
AS: Yeah, it does, especially (giving up) an unknown first round pick. Hopefully I can show the coaches that they were right. (I want to) prove them right and we won’t have to entertain this question after this year.
MR: You have said that you really felt like you had first round talent. The fact you went in the second round, does that motivate you more to prove something?
AS: Yeah, but at the same time, I’m a Bronco and I’m happy. If it took me to get to the second round to get to a team I prefer to go to, it really doesn’t matter. It’s all over now and it’s not where you start, it’s where you end. It starts when the season rolls around and everyone will forget about the draft picks if you’re not a top-five guy, top-ten guy. Everyone forgets so it really doesn’t matter.
MR: Twenty-one interceptions in your college career. How did you do that?
AS: First thing is just playing hard, playing like my hair is on fire. That’s the first thing because things happen. You might get beat but if you’re playing really hard sometimes it will fall right in your lap. The second thing I attribute it to is my coaching staff and my teammates, how we understood the game and how we all knew what was going on, our preparation.
MR: Thanks, Alphonso. It’s great to have you in Denver.
AS: Thanks for having me.
The Broncos continue their organized team activities in June. After a little time off, I’ll have more from the new guys and how he team is looking as training camp approaches.
Thanks for reading.