We've heard from Shane Ray about how he's getting ready fro training camp and his season, but how have the rest of the Broncos' drafted rookies been preparing for the offseason's last gasp before the season's start?
Nixon learning from veteran mentorship
The drafted rookies went to the NFL Hall of Fame on Wednesday morning as a part of the NFL Rookie Symposium.
Like Champ Bailey took Chris Harris Jr. under his wing, so does Harris with young corners.
Taurean Nixon said Harris has been a big help with showing him some finer points about their position, and Nixon has been one to gobble up whatever he can get from the Broncos' veterans, especially the two Pro Bowlers at cornerback.
"The offseason program was great. [...] I got a lot of reps in Denver and things like that. I learned from a lot of older guys," Nixon said. "I look up to those guys since I was in high school. And Chris Harris has really taken hold to me. He's really teaching me a lot, he'll talk to me a lot about situational football, how to come out certain types of breaks, what I get goal line, what I get red zone and just things like that coming from one of the people I feel like is a mentor to me is a great thing."
Doss, Nixon understand special teams importance
Harris' value for rookies extends beyond technical aspects for the position, too, because if you've followed Harris' career, you know how he worked his way up from special teams as an undrafted player to find a foothold on the defense. The ways to find a spot at your position may not be immediate, but they can still be found with patience and dedication.
Go on the field with the Broncos for their second day of rookie practice.
"He always stresses that he was undrafted and that all you've got to do is just believe in yourself, work hard and go out there and give people what they want and there's opportunity out there for you," Nixon said, regarding Harris' lessons. "...every day he tells me that. I just love learning from him. He's a high-character guy that is always teaching and I'm always listening so it works."
"I feel like I've been competing really well, definitely on special teams and things like that," Nixon continued. "I know that me being a seventh-round pick I knew that was going to be a vital role for me to come in and play a lot of special teams so I've been getting a lot of reps at that."
Nixon's college teammate, Lorenzo Doss, is also looking at special teams as a way to make an impact on the team in his first year.
"That's one thing I stressed going into the offseason," Doss said. "I was like 'I'm going to get as much special team work as I can.'"
Kilgo sees fit at nose tackle competition
Darius Kilgo came into the offseason program with the benefit of having played in a 3-4 scheme already in college, and he's shown ability to add competition at nose tackle depth in team reps.
The Broncos rookies were all smiles at the PLAY 60 youth football event during their trip to Aurora, Ohio for the 2015 NFL Rookie Symposium.
One of the things that Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips has said is that they've moved the interior linemen around during OTAs to get looks at nose and at 3-technique, and so Kilgo is looking to be versatile.
"I played in that scheme in college so I feel right at home in that [NT] position so I definitely want to be able to play multiple positions along the line," Kilgo said. "I'm just trying to put myself in the best position possible at the end of the day. I want to be on the team and be able to contribute to the team."
And, naturally, one of the key parts of his development has been the defensive line coach Bill Kollar, who has been credited with being a great motivator with his position group.
"I've never had a coach that's pushed me as hard as he has," Kilgo said, "so I think he's going to push me to a level that I've never been before. I'm just excited to get there."
Siemian taking advantage of time learning from QBs, to be full-go for camp
It's hard to imagine a better learning environment for a young quarterback than to be in the same room as Peyton Manning on a daily basis. Trevor Siemian, drafted in the seventh round, has been able to have that experience as he makes his transition to the NFL.
"It's a lot to learn. Each day that's a cool part about it is each day I'm learning so much," Siemian said. "I'm getting better every day, which I'm really excited about. Every day being a little better than I was yesterday and I'm just learning. There's so much at my position to learn and it helps that I've got Peyton in the room—one of the best to ever do it—to learn from, so I'm excited."
As training camp approaches, Siemian's recovery from his ACL injury suffered in November of 2014 hopes to near a close before camp begins.
"The plan to be cleared by camp," Siemian said. "I feel great now, I was doing quite a bit toward the end of OTAs so I feel great now and I've just got to kind of stay the course."
He said that his knee feels great and before camp begins he'll finish up his rehab in Denver and then prepare for it.
Rookie Symposium takeaways include managing the length of the season, how to carry yourself
The topics covered in the NFL's rookie symposium ranges from things as basic as conduct expectations to financial preparation, and none of the Broncos' drafted rookies seemed to be surprised by anything they heard during the sessions, but they still came out with valuable information, especially from current and former players who spoke to them.
A big part of that was the length of the schedule compared to what the players were used to in college.
"A lot of guys from the team tell us how long the season is but it's crazy when you get here and all the guys really talk about how long the season is," Nixon said. "because a lot of us have been rolling since the end of college last year and going through the combine and going through pro day and all that stuff right there, then coming straight in to this system right here and then we have four preseason games, 16 games and playoffs and Super Bowl so [it's] actually a lot of playing."
Max Garcia discussed the differing schedules and how he learned to better take care of himself at the symposium.
"It's really just taking care of your body, whether it be what you do as far as treatment or what you do as far as nutrition goes," Garcia said. "So that's one thing that I've been hearing a lot, just taking care of your body, just making sure you watch what you put into it and just making sure you have the right fuels going in."
Carrying yourself well and professionally on and off the field was a big part too, and the Broncos' group backed that up going to meet up with kids at a Play 60 event at the Browns' indoor practice facility.
And for the most part, that was the players' favorite part of the day.
"We've been sitting in meetings, kind of getting a lot of information, a lot of warnings just about what to look out for and kind of how to be adults," Ty Sambrailo said. "And then we get to come out and play with some kids and be kids again so I think this has been the best part."