Five starters from Georgia’s defense went off the board in the NFL draft before Tavarres King gave the Bulldogs’ offense some representation on Saturday.
Denver picked the wide receiver in the fifth round with the 161st pick.
“I know we’ve got guys on our defense that are phenomenal,” King said from his home in Baldwin. “For me to be a guy on our offense that made it to the league and got drafted, it’s pretty good.”
King said he didn’t know Denver took him until he learned about watching the NFL Network’s draft coverage.
“My name just popped up on the screen,” King said. “They said they’ve been trying to call me but they’ve been typing in the wrong number. The last digit was wrong. My name came on the screen and then I got a call from my agent and then got a call from (executive vice president) John Elway and coach (John) Fox. It was jut pretty awesome.”
King will go from catching passes from Aaron Murray to catching them from Peyton Manning.
“You’re catching passes from one of the greatest players to ever play the game,” he said. “It’s going to be awesome. He’s going to put me in the right position to make plays and put me in the best position to succeed. I’m excited to get to work with Peyton.”
King is the fourth Georgia receiver drafted since 2009, joining Mohamed Massaquoi, Kris Durham and A.J. Green.
“Tavarres King of Georgia is a dynamic wide receiver with speed and a lot of upside,” Elway tweeted. “Pleased he was still on our board.”
He said he had “not a clue” that Denver had interest in him.
“They weren’t even somebody that I thought I was going to go to, but I’m glad to be a Bronco,” he said. “It’s a team that I watched growing up—Terrell Davis, John Elway. They’ve always been on the map for me. Shannon Sharpe, he was there. It’s a team I liked growing up, too.”
The 6-foot, 189-pound King had 136 catches in his Georgia career and finished third all-time at Georgia with 21 receiving touchdowns and fourth all-time with 2,602 receiving yards.
“His junior year, you could see the speed,” said ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay. “He was the one of the few people I ever saw that was able to go up against Mo Claiborne and beat him deep. He’s got that ability. Now, he’s got to become a little become more consistent with his routes and his ballskills, but I think this is a great pick.”
He was the second Georgia player drafted on Saturday and the sixth overall.
Cornerback Sanders Commings was taken in the fifth round by Kansas City.
Linebackers Jarvis Jones (Pittsburgh) and Alec Ogletree (St. Louis) went in the first-round and nose guard John Jenkins (New Orleans) and safety Shawn Williams (Cincinnati) were taken in the third round.
Safety Bacarri Rambo, defensive end/outside linebacker Cornelius Washington and nose guard Kwame Geathers are among players from Georgia still available after five rounds.