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Super Bowl champion Broncos select former Shanley star McGovern in the fifth round

FARGO -- Connor McGovern was starting to get a little stressed Saturday afternoon, April 30, before he glanced at his phone and saw an incoming call from a Denver area code.

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Missouri football player Connor McGovern David Samson / The Forum

FARGO -- Connor McGovern was starting to get a little stressed Saturday afternoon, April 30, before he glanced at his phone and saw an incoming call from a Denver area code.

"I saw a Denver number pop up on my phone and got really excited because of how special their team is," said McGovern, who graduated from Fargo Shanley in 2011.

The defending Super Bowl champion Broncos selected McGovern in the fifth round of the NFL Draft with the No. 144 overall selection. The 6-foot-4, 306-pound offensive lineman was a three-year starter at the University of Missouri.

"It was definitely a special moment," McGovern said.

McGovern talked with Broncos general manager John Elway, a Hall of Fame quarterback who also played for Denver, during part of that phone call. Soon after McGovern was picked, Elway tweeted: "Connor McGovern, our 5th rd pick from Missouri, is a tough, intelligent & athletic guard. He's also played some tackle."

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When McGovern was in grade school, he said Elway was one of his favorite NFL players.

"It's amazing, just talking to John Elway on the phone when they called was something special, a big-time quarterback that I watched when I was a little kid," McGovern said.

McGovern played at both guard and tackle at Missouri, but is projected to play primarily guard in the NFL with the versatility to play tackle. He was one of the strongest offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine, benching 225 pounds 33 times. That was the second-most bench press reps among offensive linemen. McGovern said he's ready to compete for playing time at one of the interior offensive line positions for the Broncos.

"It's a team that needs to build that depth, whether that be a starter or a second-string guy that can play a little bit," McGovern said. "I think it's a perfect fit."

McGovern thought he could get drafted as early as Friday, the day the second and third rounds were selected. The fourth through seventh rounds were Saturday.

"I wasn't stressing at all Friday," McGovern said. "The fourth round ended, and then I started to stress a little bit, but it was definitely worth the wait to get on such a good team."

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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