The first day at Dove Valley went pretty much as scripted, and even had a happy ending…unless you’re Bradley Roby.
From all accounts on hand, it was a great day of camp for all Broncos, including the first rounder out of Ohio State who was bested by Latimer at the end of practice. Guys had their ups and downs, of course, and there’s rust to be shaken off, but overall it sounds like the first day of training camp was a very positive one for the Broncos.
With everyone but Demaryius Thomas in attendance (excused for family reasons), it was an opportunity for the Broncos to get a look at a nearly completely healthy, full roster. There’s almost not enough room to re-hash all the different things I read and saw in photos from camp, but here are a few quick hits:
1. Defensive backs had positive reviews up and down the board, guys like Omar Bolden and Louis Young receiving positive marks. Even Jeome Murphy, the former Rams third round pick who was cut by the Redskins is a guy that was singled out by Kyle Montgomery at Mile High Report as one who ‘DOMINATED’ one-on-one drills.
2. Of course, with no Demaryius Thomas on hand, Julius Thomas stood out. He apparently had to hold a blue ball after a drop, but overall had a great practice and should be one of the Broncos’ most improved players even after his breakout season a year ago.
3. Andre Caldwell stepped in as a ‘starter’ with Demaryius Thomas out.
4. There was word that Wes Welker could simply not be covered in one-on-one situations. That isn’t big news, as Welker’s quickness has always been a strong suit and his ability in man-up situations is well-documented.
5. Andrew Mason had good things to say about rookie Cody Latimer. Latimer is simply bigger, faster, and stronger than most defensive backs. The Broncos really got a steal in this kid, and he’s going to exert his physical dominance early in his career, I believe.
6. I read mixed reviews of Brock Osweiler, but you have to take into account the personal bias of some of the people reporting on him. There were plenty out there who felt like the Broncos made a mistake drafting him in 2012 when they signed Peyton Manning, but he’s had the deep ball clicking all offseason and we should see a pretty good indicator of his progress in what I hope to be extended pre-season action.
7. The Broncos really like Marvin Austin, per Brandon Spano. I really like him too. When Austin was coming out of North Carolina, he was a 2nd round pick and could have gone in the first. I wouldn’t have been shocked to see the Broncos draft him then. They opted for Rahim Moore and Orlando Franklin in the 2nd round that year instead.
Now they have him, and if he is healthy and ready to work I could see that being a really solid pickup.
8. Still waiting word on the offensive line and how they looked, but no news is good news…?
9. Kevin Vickerson and Von Miller ended practice watching, but they started off doing limited work. This is a huge sign of improvement for both players.
10. One player to watch is former CSU-Pueblo defensive end/linebacker Chase Vaughn, who apparently looked really fast today, per Mile High Report.