ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Though Broncos' rookies made their debuts on the practice field Friday, the day's work was a culmination of a full week of meetings and preparation.
Most of the rookies have been at Dove Valley since Monday, going to position meetings, watching film and learning the playbook.
"I kind of realized that in our first install meeting and all these plays are getting thrown at me and I'm like, 'All right, this is the real deal now,'" center Matt Paradis said.
The sixth-round pick from Boise State impressed the Broncos with his intelligence while watching film with coaches during a pre-draft visit. He credits the complexity of his college playbook with getting him ready for digesting Denver's, and he's also happy to have a little extra time on his hands.
"One thing that benefits us now is that we don't have school, so I can spend a lot more time in the playbook," Paradis said.
The other rookies have been spending plenty of time in their playbooks as well, preparing for the first day on the field by "basically learning a new language," as Head Coach John Fox put it. In and out of the facility, everyone is taking advantage of the time to get a mental head start before taking it outside.
"It was a lot of busy nights with meetings and trying to understand the defense," seventh-round pick Corey Nelson said. "Just trying to get acclimated to how the NFL life is."
Fellow linebacker Lamin Barrow, whom the Broncos selected in the fifth round of the draft, has been "kind of cross-training" throughout the week. Barrow is learning all three linebacker positions while preparing his body for any spot as well.
And though the veterans won't join the rookies for practice until later in May, they have been in the building for the first-years' opening week. Barrow and Nelson are already taking the opportunity to look over the shoulders of DeMarcus Ware and Danny Trevathan, among others.
"I look up to those guys, especially with the way they approach things, the mindset they have and the intensity that they bring to workouts and to meetings," Nelson said.
"Now that we're out here, it's time to put the pedal to the metal and whatever we learned, just put it on the field."