ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --For any rookie walking into an NFL facility for the first time, the atmosphere can be pretty daunting.
"They walk in here and all these vets are in here," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said Friday. "That's intimidating for these kids who you're trying to get settled down a little bit before we put them with the (veteran) group."
It can only help to have someone you know, perhaps even a good friend, to experience that "shock" along with you. Hence the excitement for former Tulane cornerbacks Lorenzo Doss and Taurean Nixon when the Broncos nabbed each in the NFL draft, in the fifth and seventh rounds respectively.
"My dad always said, 'I have a feeling that you and Lorenzo will end up on the same team together,'" Nixon said Saturday, smiling. "Everybody thinks I'm playing when I say that, but it really happened."
Nixon said his "whole house went crazy" when he found out he was following Doss to Broncos Country. Doss had a similar reaction.
"As soon as I saw his name across the TV, I called him because that's the type of relationship that we have," Doss said. "We're tight. We just always have been like that as soon as we both came to Tulane."
Though the pair didn't room together on the road, they are close friends who both competed for the Green Wave's track team. In the 4x100 relay, Doss carried the baton for the team's third leg before handing off to Green for the final 100 meters. A 60-meter record holder at Memphis, Green's anchor-leg speed serves him well on the football field, according to Doss.
"You [aren't] going to run by him because he's got 4.3 speed," Doss said of his teammate, adding, "he hits like a train. He can do it all. He can cover; he's the fastest guy the on the field and then he can come up and play the run game."
Green had equally high praise for his counterpart, calling Doss "ball hungry."
"If the ball is in the air, Lorenzo is one of those guys that will come down with it," Green said. "Him being a receiver before he was a cornerback makes him a great cornerback because he goes and gets the ball."
The former receiver Doss credits one of Tulane's coaches, co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Lionel Washington, for speeding up his transition from offense to defense. He said that the biggest hurdle he's overcome in his position change was understanding "where my help was at," which was aided by playing every position on the field.
Even as the duo has one another to lean on, they have one other resource who knows something about jumping from Tulane to Dove Valley. Cornerback Jordan Sullen, a 2014 undrafted free agent who spent four years with the Green Wave, was among the Broncos' final cuts at the end of the 2014 preseason after competing through training camp. Doss played opposite Sullen for two years in college and has reached out to the former Bronco about his experience in Denver.
"We were on the phone for a long time just talking about it," Doss said. "He was just telling me about different players... He just told me what to expect."
The competition of training camp is still a long way off for Doss and Nixon, but leaning on each other so far has led to a smooth start.
"It's a blessing," Doss said of winding up in Denver with Nixon. "I thank the organization for it."
Go on the field with the Broncos for their second day of rookie practice.