Denver's legendary NFL quarterback and general manger John Elway says the team's defensive line coach demanded they draft Adam Gotsis.
Six months ago Adam Gotsis' left knee buckled under his hulking 195cm, 127kg body, a horrifying sight that could have ended his against-the-odds journey.
However Gotsis refused to give up on his dream of making it from Melbourne's eastern suburbs to the NFL.
The Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, fearing a rival would beat them to the talented defensive lineman, swooped and selected him on Friday with the 63rd pick of the NFL Draft in Chicago.
Not only had Gotsis made sporting history by being the highest Australian pick in an NFL Draft but to add to his surreal moment, it was one of the greats of the game - Denver Broncos general manager John Elway - who welcomed him to the elite franchise.
"We're really excited about him," Elway, a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Broncos during his storied playing career from 1983 to 1998, raved.
"He's a guy we think has a really high ceiling."
Former Kew High School student Gotsis, 23, tore his left anterior cruciate ligament while starring for his US college team, Georgia Tech, against Virginia on October 31.
The injury was expected to make NFL teams wary of him but while sitting with his brothers and sisters in his Atlanta apartment, Gotsis received word the Broncos would draft him.
"He was a guy we targeted so we didn't want to take any chances to let him slide," Elway said.
Gotsis joins one of the great all-time NFL defensive units, which crushed the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in February's Super Bowl.
"To become part of the best defence in the last 30 years or so, it's an awesome feeling," Gotsis told reporters.
Elway said as well as Gotsis' "big athletic, strong, long" body which includes 87cm arms and massive 27.3cm hands, it was a face-to-face interview he had with the Australian at the NFL combine in February in Indianapolis that helped win him over.
Gotsis, who majored in business administration during his four years at Georgia Tech, also had Broncos' defensive line coach Bill Kollar jumping out of his skin with video of his 110-tackle, 12-sack college career.
Elway laughed as he recalled how Kollar the past six weeks would repeatedly bang "on our door and say 'You guys give me a chance to work with this guy'."
Gotsis told AAP earlier this week he has been "attacking" his rehab and will be ready for the start of the NFL season in September.
Elway was more upbeat.
"He should be ready to go by camp," Elway said.
The Broncos usually hold their training camp for rookies in late July.
Gotsis was selected with the last pick of the second round, beating Colin Scotts, the previous earliest selection for an Australian, who was chosen in the third round in 1987 by the St Louis Cardinals.
The draft is held over three days and seven rounds.
Rounds four to seven will take place on Saturday (Sunday AEST).
Australia's top remaining prospects are punter Tom Hackett (University of Utah) and kicker Brad Craddock (University of Maryland).
Other Australians hoping to be picked include punters Alex Kinal (Wake Forest), Lachlan Edwards (Sam Houston State) and Jamie Keehn (Louisiana State) and offensive lineman Blake Muir (Baylor).