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Published on 06/17/2010 at Thu Jun 17 15:15.
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J.D. Walton

J.D. Walton

The Denver Broncos came to terms with offensive lineman J.D. Walton, whom they selected in the third round (80th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, the club announced Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Walton (6’3″, 305 lbs.) has been working at first-team center in organized team activities, while fellow rookie Zane Beadles has been starting at left guard.

Also on Thursday, the Broncos waived undrafted rookie defensive lineman Jaron Baston and fullback Kyle Eckel. Eckel was signed earlier this month after the Broncos released QB Tom Brandstater.

We’re just happy to see the Broncos getting the ball rolling early with these contracts this year, especially since Walton has been starting.  No holdouts this year, thankyouverymuch.  Press release after the jump.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos on Thursday announced several transactions, including the signing of offensive lineman J.D. Walton, whom they selected in the third round (80th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft from Baylor University. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Also on Thursday, the Broncos waived rookie defensive lineman Jaron Baston and designated fullback Kyle Eckel as waived/injured.

Walton (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy (nation’s best center) and earned first-team All-America honors as a senior in 2009, becoming the first Baylor offensive or defensive player to achieve that status in 18 years.

A three-year starter at center for the Bears, he allowed just three sacks in 721 pass plays during his final two seasons.

He was a first-team all-district and all-county offensive lineman at Allen High School in Allen, Texas, and was born on March 24, 1987.

  • MrEast

    It's good to see these guys getting signed early. Hopefully they can get to Thomas in time. I'd bet my paycheck that Tebow would take less to to avoid a holdout.

  • Joe

    I'm confident that we will not have any holdouts. But does anyone know the last Bronco to wear number 88? I'm drawin a blank here

  • Mergrath

    Joe, it was Sheffler. I too am happy to see these signings getting done early. It wouldn't surprise me to see Tebow be the first 1st rounder signed either.

  • Joe

    wow I can't believe I spaced that one out, thanks

  • NavyBSU_fan

    Eric Olson could be the first ever 6th round pick to hold out for more money! Just Kidding but why hasn't he been signed first? Usually these things move in a semblance of order, don't they?

  • NavyBSU_fan

    Tebow has said that he will not hold our, but is it entirely his decision? I know that agents have a lot to do with that. What if he (Tebow) does not have a contract nailed down by training camp? Can he sign an injury waiver? I did not think he could participate without a contract.

  • MrEast

    If that agent wants to stay on Tebow's (and God's) good side he better have him a contract before training camp.

  • Dan

    Can't wait to see what JD in pads at center and Beadles in pads at left tackle. Let's finally properly run the football again!

  • kerry

    Beadles at LT?! um that belongs to Ryan Clady. you know, our Pro Bowl LT who is one of, if not the best LT in football. you remember him dont you? i highly doubt Beadles has a chance in hell of taking that spot.

  • Dan

    Sorry Kerry I meant Left Guard…My mind was mostly on the Laker game. Good catch.

  • NavyBSU_fan

    lol, he better stay on Tebow's good side. Any agent in the world would want to represent him. The truth is that no matter what his salary is now he can make almost payton manning type endorsement money later.

  • NavyBSU_fan

    depends on if Clady's knee heals well and quickly, and if Beadles can beat out tyler polumbus

  • kerry

    yeah i was gonna say “did we trade Clady and i just missed it?” lol.

  • MrEast

    If Beadles doesn't beat out Polumbus I'm gonna cry.

  • NMBronc

    He did make the Pro Bowl. Kiss of death! :)

  • Landingstrip37

    From these comments, it sounds like everyone is assuming that Clady will be starting in week-six or sooner. But we all presumably read that depressing analysis of the last decade's meager examples of linemen who returned to the field as soon as that (after whatever surgery Clady had performed on him). I remember only one O-line name and he didn't exactly shine upon returning to the starting fold.

    So I am operating under the presumption that the O-Line staff is under pressure to see if Beadles is ready to start as a rookie at Left Guard.

    If he isn't, then maybe they should give Zane some reps at Tackle– both Tackle spots, just in case Ryan Harris' toe problems recur — and consider trading for Logan Mankins.

    If that is not on their radar, perhaps they'd even consider a one-year deal for Flozell Adams as Left Tackle insurance for the rehabbing Clady (as Ryan Harris has enough on his plate without trying to switch sides of the line and, besides that, we'll need his athleticism in 2011 if that southpaw Tebow is starting).

    But it all seems to come down to whether or not Beadles can be the man at Left Guard.

    But the brain-trust put in enough draft-picks for interior prospects to consider inking/trading for both Adams and Mankins (even if Clady's injury rehab is looking less optimistic than they are letting on).

    So its Adams and we'll keep developing Beadles as the next starting Left Guard, or its Mankins and Beadles is the top prospect in Ryan Clady's stead (until the big man is ready to return). Or its neither and we pray that both Ryan's will be ready to start throughout 2010.

    But trading for Mankins seems like the least-risky way of handling things (especially if Ryan Harris needs a backup at the same time that Clady is on the sideline).

    All in all a confusing situation that will be the biggest story-line as exhibition season approaches. After all, we need to see what we have in Moreno this year (and the QB's, especially, could benefit from a believable play-action threat to keep defense's honest and not pinning their ears back).

    None of this is news to anyone here. I just wish we could get some scuttlebutt about how Beadles is progressing and whether the coaches are considering giving him any reps at Tackle as well.

    If they are, I'd say that the Mankins trade– even for a, gulp, second-rounder in 2011– is becoming more and more likely.

    He's probably no Steve Hutchinson of the Seahawks and now the Vikings. But if Mankins is better than Schlereth and nearly as dominating as a young Alan Faneca, we could have a great left-side of the line for the first time since the Super Bowl days in the next few seasons (even though Beadles landing-spot would still be undetermined… especially since Kuper was re-signed before Clady got hurt).

    Anyone know where the current version of Alan Faneca has landed, b.t.w.?

  • PhinsAgainIn10

    No fear, opposing defenses won't have their “ears pinned back”, they'll be stacking the line, loading the box. Your omnicient leader eliminated any threat of the passing game being feared or even really regarded much. You'll need that kick a** O-line to hopefully grind three a crack and protect your noodle-armed game manager, assuming the new messiah isn't showing a new standard for interception to TD ratio, in that order.

  • PhinsAgainIn10

    P.S. Anybody wanna bet the 'Skins with their first year of “zone blocking” and an iffy line and decent, not great, backs outgain the Donkeys on the ground this year. Shoulda' kept Shanny and a top 5 offense and just signed Mike Nolan last year, YA COULDA BEEN CONTENDERS!!!, at least with a few fewer injuries on D late. Consider the culture your new coach comes from has had very limited success since they can't CHEAT anymore, ADVANTAGE LOST!!! Shanny definitely has an ego, but at least he usually put it aside in the teams' interest. Not so much, the new guard, it seems ego placation = team destruction. McDaniels has a vision, SO DID NAPOLEON, ask any European how that worked out!

  • Wolf

    Clarence Kay i think was the last bronco to wear 88 he was a Tight End up to 1992

  • Wolf

    lol forgot about scheffler I like to go back to far for these things