ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --** The attraction of the Broncos was obvious to Colorado State products Shaquil Barrett and Kapri Bibbs. The linebacker and running back would be the local favorites with the best wishes of many Coloradans, trying to become the 20th and 21st former CSU Rams to play for the Broncos in the regular season. That the two could remain teammates only enhanced the allure.
"Me and Shaquil have been running around here all day together in the weight room, laughing, joking around and just working hard together," Bibbs said. "We know that it's going to be a grind, and we look to make this 53-man roster together."
Added Barrett: "Just knowing that we're going to be working hard out here together, we're going to push each other, we see each other slacking off, motivate each other, stuff like that. I know what he wants in life and he knows what I want in life and it's this right here. So we're going to motivate each other and make it happen."
But there were other, equally compelling reasons to choose the orange and blue over other suitors that courted them during and after the seventh round last Saturday.
Both had keen interest from the Broncos. Both have decent shots to make the roster: Barrett is expected to compete with 2013 undrafted pickup Lerentee McCray for a backup strong-side role, while Bibbs will factor into a wide-open competition for reserve slots behind starter Montee Ball.
Bibbs had plenty of options. He said he heard from Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Chicago and Baltimore, but "everything just kept coming back to Denver," he said.
The Broncos' blocking tactics also played a role, as does the presence of Eric Studesville, the running backs coach who led the position workouts at the Scouting Combine in February.
"Coach E, I had a good relationship with him at the Combine," Bibbs said. "Knowing the opportunity I would have here, coming here and playing with a great quarterback in a great system -- they run zone-blocking scheme, and that's what I do. So I just came here and I felt like this is the right spot."
Bibbs added that Studesville was one of the Broncos' officials to call and express their interest in signing him.
Barrett noted that he heard from the Broncos during the draft, but they had competition from Pittsburgh.
"I only considered the Steelers because Joey Porter, our coach from CSU, went out there this year. So those were the top two but the Broncos seemed like the better fit," Barrett said. "The Broncos, they called and sounded really serious about me and I liked the opportunity. My agent thought it was a good fit, so we just went with it."
What doesn't matter to either is the Broncos' 10-season streak of having at least one undrafted player make the 53-man roster out of the preseason.
"I really wasn't thinking about it," said Barrett. "I just know that if I get the opportunity, it's up to me to make it happen."
Added Bibbs: "I try not to focus on that, how many guys made it on their undrafted thing. They look for talent, and the best player plays here. That's all you can really ask for as a guy like me, just have an opportunity and you know if you work hard and if you earn a job, you earn a job."
"I don't care about the history. I care about the organization, and they have a great one here."