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Leighton Vander Esch selected by Dallas Cowboys

Once a Bronco...

NFL: NFL Draft-Red Carpet Arrivals Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Vander Esch has been proving people wrong for quite a while now, and moments ago in Dallas he just proved a few people right...including yours truly (takes dramatic bow)

Vander Esch’s story is well-known at this point, and frankly, reads a bit like a tall tale (a 6’4” tale to be exact). Vander Esch came up through the ranks of Idaho 8-man football, got “discovered” by Bronco DC Andy Avalos (then a linebackers coach) and earned a walk-on offer from his dream school that quickly became a scholarship. He was a role player his first few seasons at Boise State before taking a starting role in 2017 and boy, did he make the most of it. Vander Esch racked up 141 tackles, playing a pivotal role in numerous Bronco victories and earning Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Honors. Some (not me) said maybe he should return for that senior season, but the writing was on the wall...Vander Esch flew up draft boards from the moment he declared, only gaining steam and momentum at the NFL combine, and now...well, he’s a bonafide NFLer, and a first-rounder at that. Leighton is a Cowboy.

The Cowboys are on TV a lot and you’ll want to watch them when they are on defense, as they’ll feature THREE Boise State alums potentially on the field at the same time (DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford the other two). Coulda been four, but Orlando Scandrick was dealt this offseason. Of course, Kellen Moore is now on staff as well in Dallas, so it’s Boise State south at the moment. Congratulations, Leighton...Bronco Nation couldn’t be prouder.

The scene in Dallas:

The scene in Riggins:

And some instant analysis from Leighton’s NFL pals and newest fans: