Summer 2024

New Denver Broncos offensive lineman Dalton Risner enters NFL as 'missionary for Him'

A Colorado boy, former Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner was thrilled when we was selected in the second round Friday by the Denver Broncos with the 41st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He grew up in Wiggins, Colo., an hour northeast of Denver, and closely followed the Broncos. The small town even threw a parade for Risner when he returned home this weekend.

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After graduating from Wiggins High School, Risner went on to K-State and earned All-Big 12 first-team honors each of his final three seasons, when he was also a team captain. In 2018, he was named the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and a first-team All-American by CBS Sports, Sporting News, Pro Football Focus and ESPN. The accolades made the versatile lineman — who can play guard, tackle or center — a much sought-after commodity prior to the draft.

But the Broncos aren’t just getting a hometown boy. They’re getting a player whose character was often praised by team officials who met with him. Risner “is simply a no-worry player as a locker-room leader,” according to ESPN.

The 6-foot-5, 312-pound lineman is a Christ-follower, who is currently displaying 1 Peter 4:10 as his header photo on Twitter.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” — 1 Peter 4:10

He has four other Bible verses tattooed on his left arm: Psalm 37:5, John 6:47, Proverbs 16:9 and Luke 1:37.

“I’m not just going to put a skull on my body or something that doesn’t mean anything,” Risner said in an interview with “I try to get stuff that I want to carry with me throughout my whole life. A lot of it are my favorite scriptures that I carry on my arm. I love that because do you know how many questions I get? Like you just asked and that gives me the chance to share the word of God with somebody out there. Whether it’s someone who comes up to me at a grocery store or a little kid and they want to know who Jesus is or what Psalm 37 means. That’s an awesome opportunity to spread the Word of God.”

Risner has also started a foundation called RiseUp with the mission of “spreading God’s Word through love and kindness.” The foundation started as print and video blogs posted online, but has evolved into a much more ambitious project focused primarily on providing inspiration and assistance to kids and teenagers battling cancer:

“We’ll see how far football goes, but my biggest goal in life is that I want to use my faith to impact as many people as I can with the platform that football has given me,” Risner told 247 Sports. “I believe God gave me the platform of football so I can impact people and be a missionary for Him, and impact people not just with faith but with a smile and positivity and encouragement.”

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