ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --** Cornerback Bradley Roby is just one day removed from signing his first NFL contract, but the Broncos' first-round draft pick has already been very active in practice.
"He's obviously got the physical skills," Head Coach John Fox said Tuesday. "Anytime you take a guy in the first round, you feel that way. I've really been impressed with what he's done, how he's conducted himself as a Bronco thus far."
Roby's had his fair share of one-on-one matchups with Demaryius Thomas and held his own against the two-time Pro Bowl receiver.
Tuesday, Roby was in a collision with Emmanuel Sanders that caught everyone's attention. He also broke up two deep passes to Andre Caldwell, including one in the end zone on fourth down of a simulated late-game situation, ending the offense's attempt to score the go-ahead touchdown.
The collision with Sanders was accidental and, as Fox called it afterward, just "part of football." But Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio pointed out Wednesday that it also reflects the energy Roby is showing on the field.
"He is making plays, an aggressive guy who can run," Del Rio said. "Bright guy. And he's going well right now. So you know, Roby is going to be a good player for us and right now he's just earning his way."
Roby is still adjusting a bit from college, noting that he can't make up ground on receivers as quickly as he could at Ohio State. He says veteran Aqib Talib has taken him "under his wing" and is teaching him some of "the small things."
Back on the field, he was in the heat of the action once again Wednesday, showing up in good position for a few "tackles" -- this week's minicamp is non-contact -- after short passes. He was also beaten deep for a touchdown by Sanders and called for pass interference on a fade route, but it's hard to ignore the young corner's feistiness.
"Off the field, I know I'm a rookie," he said. "I'm very respectful of all the veterans. I get along with them well. But on the field, that's totally different. It doesn't matter how old you are, I don't apologize for anything on the field."
"We're all grown men. If I was a kid, I'd still be in college. I'm definitely a man on the field."
As Fox noted, the game is certainly "not too big" for the rookie so far. Even facing an offense that piles up the records last year, Roby is taking the challenge in stride.
"When I first got drafted, that's something I thought about: 'I'm going to be going against D.T., Peyton Manning and Emmanuel Sanders every day, Wes Welker every day,'" Roby said. "I know that there's nobody out there I'm going to see that's too much better than them, if any. I'm delighted about that. I love to compete. So I just want to do that every day."
"I want to come in and just give this team anything they need and use my skills to make plays on the field. That's what I've always done my whole life and I don't see it changing now."