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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Elway: Montee Ball a draft 'gem'

ESPN.com news services

John Elway said Tuesday that the Denver Broncos think they have "found a gem" in running back Montee Ball, who reminds the team's executive vice president of football operations of former teammate Terrell Davis.

"When we were watching Montee, the one thing that stood out about his running style is that it's a lot like Terrell Davis, and so that got us very excited, and we hope that Montee has an even longer career than Terrell had," said Elway, who made his comments at a fan forum for season-ticket holders.

Elway and Davis led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl victories in the 1997-98 seasons. Davis was named the Super Bowl XXXII Most Valuable Player in 2007 after rushing for 157 yards and three touchdowns in the Broncos' 31-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers. In 1998, Davis was named the NFL's MVP after rushing for 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns. 

Davis rushed for 7,607 yards in seven seasons for the Broncos but a devastating knee injury in 1999 helped to derail his career.  He retired after the 2001 season.

Elway praised Ball for his durability at Wisconsin, where he had 663 rushing attempts the past two seasons, rushing for 3,753 yards and 55 touchdowns.

"I have high expectations for him to come in and really help us with the running game," Elway said.

Matt Russell, the team's director of player personnel, was asked by a fan why the team selected Ball instead of former Alabama running back Eddie Lacy. Russell said the team was concerned about Lacy's toe injury which likely was a reason he fell to the 61st overall selection, made by the Packers, but also said the Broncos were very high on Ball, who the team picked 58th overall.

"We feel we have a career back in Montee Ball," he said.