Takeaways from the Denver Broncos rookie minicamp

May 14, 2021, 3:26 PM | Updated: May 16, 2021, 9:37 pm
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 22: Denver Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio watches warm-ups prior to a regular ...
(Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos began their rookie minicamp on Friday with a total of 27 new players taking the field at Dove Valley.

The rookies went through team meetings and a brief walkthrough, and head coach Vic Fangio, Pat Surtain II and Javonte Williams all spoke with the media before taking the field.

Here are some takeaways from the first day of rookie minicamp:

The Broncos signed 11 college free agents
Early Friday morning it was reported by Broncos lead writer Aric DiLalla that the team officially signed 11 college free agents to their roster.

The Broncos drafted seven defensive players and three offensive players in the 2021 draft, but seven of the Broncos’ 11 college free agent signings were offensive.

One of the 11 undrafted free agents is likely to make the team, as Denver has had an undrafted rookie make its initial 53-man roster in 16 of the last 17 seasons.

A player to watch could be outside linebacker Andre Mintze from Vanderbilt, who Fangio said “impressed” the coaches.

“We were happy to get him as a free agent,” Fangio said. “Being an undrafted free agent isn’t a terrible thing. This guy’s got talent and he’s got ability. We’re happy to give him an opportunity.”


Baron Browning to start at inside linebacker
In a press conference with the media, Fangio said he wants to keep Baron Browning at inside linebacker because of his versatility.

The Broncos drafted the Ohio State defender in the third round of the NFL draft last month. After the draft Fangio said the team expects Browning to be a “major contributor” on special teams right away and will compete for one of the linebacker spots.

Alexander Johnson and Josey Jewell will be the ones to face competition from Browning.

“It’s always different gymnastics every time you undertake a linebacker that has some versatility,” Fangio said. “We are going to leave him at inside linebacker here for a good bit, see how he does and go from there.”


Pat Surtain will “always” have a chip on his shoulder
The Broncos ninth overall pick in the 2021 draft was asked if he will have a chip on his shoulder after Jaycee Horn was drafted ahead of him, and Surtain certainly answered.

“I’m always going to stay firm that I am the best cornerback in this class. I’ll always have a chip on my shoulder no matter what, Surtain said. “Going into the league as a rookie, you always have to have a chip on your shoulder no matter what. You have to go out and prove yourself again. I still have the same chip on my shoulder as I did coming in as a freshman in high school and as a freshman in college. It’ll always be that same chip on my shoulder.”

Surtain was also asked about the playbook and the rookie said it was not that much different than Alabama except for the terminology, but he’s getting the hang of it.

“We had different terms in college than what we have here right now,” Surtain said. “I’m getting the hang of it and working every day to perfect the playbook. It’s nothing too complex because I’m used to it. It’s just different terminology, really.”


D.J. Jones...
Andrew Mason

Broncos 2022 Training Camp Preview: Defensive linemen

D.J. Jones is the big-ticket free agent. Dre'Mont Jones is playing for a big contract. But there are plenty of other storylines.
1 day ago
Russell Wilson...
Andrew Mason

The best first seasons in Broncos history: Honorable mentions

Great things are expected of Russell Wilson. But he'll need a big season to have the best first year as a Bronco in team history.
2 days ago
Jerry Jeudy...
Will Petersen

Jerry Jeudy to the Pro Bowl in 2022? Sports Illustrated thinks so

The former Alabama star, who Denver selected No. 15 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, has been a disappointment thus far in his NFL career
2 days ago
DENVER, COLORADO - AUGUST 28: Courtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with Tim Patric...
Cecil Lammey

Broncos 2022 Training Camp Preview: Wide receivers

Denver is top heavy at wideout, with three potential 1,000-yard receivers on the roster; behind them, however, it'll be a battle for roster spots
2 days ago
Marlin Briscoe...
Andrew Mason

Remembering Marlin Briscoe: A legend who was ahead of his time

Briscoe, who died June 27, aged 76, became the first Black quarterback in modern pro football when he started for the Broncos in 1968.
3 days ago
DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 28: Javonte Williams #33 of the Denver Broncos celebrates scoring a tou...
Cecil Lammey

Mile High Monday: Javonte Williams can make the second-year leap

The Broncos running back should have a big season in year No. 2, Arch Manning makes his decision and the Avalanche finish off Mission 16W
4 days ago
Takeaways from the Denver Broncos rookie minicamp