ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- For drafted players and college free agents alike, this weekend's rookie minicamp was no picnic.
"They took all the training wheels off as soon as you stepped through the door," wide receiver Gerell Robinson said. "They expect a lot out of you, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
But the process was made a little easier for Robinson, quarterback Brock Osweiler and cornerback Omar Bolden.
All three were teammates at Arizona State University.
"It's always good to come in with somebody you know," Bolden said. "Obviously you come in with a class full of rookies and everybody's going through the same thing. But when you can look to your right or to your left and know that you've been through similar situations like this for the past three-to-four years with guys that you kind of consider as your brothers, it helps. It makes it a little easier to transition to the NFL."
After Osweiler joined the team as a second-round draft pick, Bolden and Robinson both came on board on the final day of the draft -- Bolden as a fourth-round selection and Robinson as a college free agent.
The Broncos first gained real interest in Robinson at a workout for Osweiler in Tempe, Ariz.
Head Coach John Fox said Robinson is a player the Broncos had on their draft board, so they were thrilled when they could add him through free agency.
"We were at the workout and he ran routes and our antenna went up a little bit then," Fox said. "We got to know him a little bit and got a little bit more exposure that day. He did a great job, and that's why we got him."
"We're just glad that he's in that Broncos jersey."
As far as Robinson is concerned, he always wanted to end up in Denver.
"The Broncos were the only team I really had in mind," Robinson said. "This is a dream come true. Regardless of whether I got drafted or not, I'm just happy to be here. This was my ultimate destination, and I'm here."
Now that all three teammates are here, Osweiler is excited to continue working with his fellow Sun Devils.
"It's nice, because I know what to expect from him and he knows what to expect from me as well," the quarterback said of continuing to play with Robinson. "We are running a different offense, but at the same time, I can read his body language. He knows how the ball comes out with me. And then to have Omar on the other side of the ball – I got him one time (Friday), but then he came back and knocked down a pass on me. So, we all know each other and we're just having a good time."
Osweiler said he spent the time between the draft and rookie minicamp training at Athletes Performance in Phoenix along with Robinson, so the two worked on routes before they even joined the team in official workouts.
That familiarity is beneficial, Robinson agreed, but it can also hurt the two as they transition to a new offense.
"It kind of bit us in the butt (Saturday)," Robinson laughed. "We had a route on, and we ended up running a route from college that we weren't supposed to be running. But we'll learn. We take our licks, take our bumps and bruises and we'll get better at it every day."
With Bolden on defense, he's relished the opportunity to line up against Robinson and Osweiler -- but he wouldn't tip his hand as to who got the better of the matchups throughout the weekend, simply laughing, "We're equally working hard."
"That's definitely the truth," Robinson smiled. "We're all just trying to retain all the information. We're trying to make each other better and make ourselves better at the same time and make this team better. Hopefully we're doing a good job."