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Roby-Latimer Battles Helping Both Players

Posted Jul 25, 2014

The Broncos' first two draft picks have faced off plenty so far, and they say the competition is sharpening both rookies' skills.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- They were picked just 25 spots apart in the 2014 NFL Draft and they're both from the Big Ten Conference.

Since joining the Broncos, cornerback Bradley Roby and wide receiver Cody Latimer have continued to be linked to each other, on and off the field.

"We talk all the time," Latimer said Thursday. "We talked before camp during OTAs, we said we’re going to push each other every day."

The pair faced each other twice in college while Roby was at Ohio State and Latimer was at Indiana. Both players had their moments in those games. Latimer grabbed a combined 12 catches for 128 yards while Roby recorded three passes defended in each contest.

That constant back-and-forth battle continued on the practice field at Dove Valley during rookie camp and offseason practices.

"It’s intense between us," Latimer said. "We know when we line up, we’re not going to play around. We’re going to go after it.”

They didn't wait long on the first day of training camp to do just that. They matched up twice during one-on-one drills, with both players showing physicality off the line and out of their breaks. Latimer made a leaping catch both times, using his large frame to box out Roby, but the feisty corner was right there and kept the gains to a minimum.

While both players relish the chance to face each other, the competition represents a particularly important opportunity for Roby.

“[On] offense, you can run routes on air," Roby said. "But defense, you need that guy in front of you to work that muscle memory, that eye control. So it’s good to get back out here.”

Overall, Latimer had an impressive first practice -- he beat Roby deep for a touchdown during team drills -- and Roby made his share of plays, but both players gave themselves a C-minus for the day. The hope for both is to sharpen one another's skills as they develop at the highest level.

"We’re going out here to compete to win a Super Bowl, to be rookies of the year," Latimer said. "We’ve got goals set for each other, so I’m like, ‘I’m going to make you better, you’re going to make me better and we’re going to bring it.’"