Tulane cornerback Lorenzo Doss went in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Sunday to the Denver Broncos.
Doss, a New Orleans native who attended St. Augustine High, was the 17th cornerback selected and the 164th player overall. He was the first Green Wave player since Lynaris Elpheage in 2003 to declare for the draft as a junior.
Broncos general manager John Elway and coach Gary Kubiak called to tell they were taking him.
“As soon as my phone rang, I took a huge breath and it was a huge relief,” Doss said. “I didn’t have any idea. I never really spoke with them at all, so it was a huge surprise for me.”
Doss started 34 of 37 games in his three-year career, making a school-record 15 interceptions. Seven of those pickoffs came as a sophomore, when he was a first-team All-Conference USA selection and the Louisiana Defensive Player of the Year (Louisiana Sportswriters Association) as Tulane went to its first bowl game (The New Orleans Bowl) in 11 years. He also holds the school record for interception return yards with 271 yards, including three for touchdowns.
After entering his junior year with preseason All-America attention, Doss did not live up to expectations, finishing with only three interceptions while giving up some big gains as Tulane went 3-9.
NFL draft analysts questioned his ability to as a run stopper, too, causing him to wait longer than he wanted.
“It would have been great to go earlier, but then I probably wouldn’t have gone with the Broncos,” he said. “It’s great to be with the team I’m at.”
This is the second consecutive year a Tulane player was selected in the fifth round. Washington chose wide receiver Ryan Grant in 2014 draft, and he made the Redskins active roster.
Denver is stacked at cornerback, with Pro Bowl selection Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr. Bradley Roby and Kayvon Webster all returning, so Doss likely will have to earn his spot on special teams.
Still, he offered no regret for skipping his senior year at Tulane.
“This is something I always dreamed of going up,” he said. “It’s a dream come true. I always talked about making it the NFL and just selling my talent to be able to play with the best guys in the world.”