The Broncos selected Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders with the 67th overall pick, early in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The versatile defender had been mocked to go as early as the first round.

Here’s what you need to know about Drew Sanders:

He’s a man of mystery

What position does Drew Sanders play? That depends on who you ask.

Sanders was a five-star recruit out of Texas and the No. 1 athlete in the country. (That’s the tag they give to players who don’t have a position that’s set in stone.) He was the No. 22 player in the country overall.

At Alabama, Sanders played defensive line and outside linebacker. After two years with the Crimson Tide, he transferred to Arkansas and they still didn’t know exaclty what to do with him, but wanted to see more of him at inside linebacker.

“A lot of my challenge with Drew is getting him to trust and believe how talented he is,” linebackers coach Michael Scherer said before the season. “Once he does that and lets it loose and once he gets the reps there in the middle and he’s not thinking about what he’s got to do, he can do some special, special things.”

Sanders bounced from inside to outside linebacker at Arkansas, but the Broncos plan on playing him at inside linebacker… despite him racking up 9.5 sacks last season. Head coach Sean Payton noted that even though Sanders is an inside linebacker, he can still take some pass-rushing snaps as well, especially from the interior.

Don’t look at the lack of a true posiiton as concerning. It’s actually a testament to just how talented Sanders is. He’s a monster from all over the front seven.

Sanders measured in at 235 pounds and over 6-feet-4-inches tall at the combine. His 4.58-second 40-yard dash was freaky for his size, as were the rest of his running and jumping numbers. He wasn’t happy with the numbers.

“Not quite, but I’ll take it I guess,” Sanders said, according to Southwest Arkansas Today.

He has a lot of nicknames

Drew Sanders’ first nickname came in high school when teammates called him “Drago.”

“Every time he hit somebody, we’d always say, ‘If he dies, he dies,’” Shane Tolleson, one of his high school coaches, told “Drew would just give you a little smirk.”

Another nickname came from his trainer.

“When he showed up, I called him Thor,” Aaron De La Torre said. “I said, ‘Good god, he looks like Thor.'”

You might be thinking that Sanders has flowing blonde hair, but he doesn’t. The Thor comparison comes strictly from his 6-foot-5 body.

De La Torre came up with another nickname for Sanders because of all the food he ate.

“I always called him Bob the Builder,” De La Torre said. “(I said), ‘You’re at work with your sack of lunch.’”

He lost practice reps in high school shared another story from Sanders’ high school days.

During practices, Sanders was too physical for the coaches’ liking. They banned him from participating in any live drills because they feared he would hurt his he would injure an offensvie player.

“He went in one day and body slammed the fullback on the side,” Tolleson said. “I said, ‘All right, Drew you stand over here beside me and you watch.’”

He wrote a playbook

Sanders’ father is a high school football coach, and when Sanders was 5, he created a playbook for his father to use.

It wasn’t very good.

“He brought me a playbook that he had written. It was a very good playbook, but I couldn’t use it,” Mitch Sanders said, according to Tide Illustrated. “There would have been like 20 guys on offense and maybe three or four on defense. He’d be mad that I didn’t run that play.”

Having a football coach for a father served Sanders well.

“From the time he was probably five, I could not shake him on a Saturday,” Mitch Sanders said. “Whether it was going to my office at the school or coaches meetings, he would always sit in there. I think football IQ wise, he learns that stuff pretty quickly.”

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Henry was born in Columbia Falls, Montana and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2015. He earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Montana in 2019. After graduation, he joined DNVR. He spent three years covering the University of Colorado before moving to the Broncos beat ahead of the 2022 season. Henry joined DNVR as a remote staff writer in 2017, providing support to BSN's Broncos beat reporters. He interned at DNVR headquarters in the summer of 2018 and accepted a full-time position after graduating from UM. Follow Henry on Twitter - @HenryChisholm