A pair of undrafted wide receivers are drawing some attention from Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy during offseason practices.
Gerell Robinson is one of three rookies on the Denver Broncos from Arizona State University.
Robinson impressed McCoy and staff when they checked out quarterback Brock Osweiler during a pre-draft workout. McCoy said the young guys will continue to get lots of reps in offseason drills, and with a new playbook and a quarterback in Peyton Manning who keeps a rapid pace, Robinson will have an opportunity to earn his keep this summer.
“We’re throwing a ton at them, and we’ve told them from Day One we’re not waiting for them,” McCoy said. “So they’ve got to get in their books and study extremely hard every day and they can’t miss an opportunity. They’ve got to take all the mental reps in the world because we’re going at the quarterback’s speed. And the quarterback has played a long time so everyone has to keep up with him.”
Mark Dell is an undrafted wideout who the Broncos picked up last July. McCoy spoke of Dell and another undrafted player, running back Mario Fannin, as two guys who came in last year as rookies and looked good initially, but never made it to the regular season due to injuries. Now, they’re trying to pick up where they left off.
“They did a great job last year of making the most of their opportunities,” McCoy said. “Unfortunately they both got injured last year but they did a great job of coming in as young players in our system, they bought into what we were doing and they did it the way they were getting taught. Injuries are all part of the game. They’ve worked extremely hard.”
Dell still came to team meetings throughout the year, continuing to ask questions and study the playbook.
“That’s going to pay off before long enough for both those guys,” McCoy said.
Fullback Chris Gronkowski was another fresh name discussed during Wednesday’s press conference at Dove Valley. Gronkowski was acquired via trade from the Indianapolis Colts on May 23rd. McCoy especially likes the team’s latest acquisition because it’ll be easier to use some of the formations that the offensive coordinator and Head Coach John Fox used when they were together at Carolina.
“He fits what we do and what we’ve done in the past — whether it’s here or in Carolina, where we were more of a two-back offense,” McCoy said. “He’s that fullback you’re looking for.”
But Gronkowkski won’t be used only as the fullback in dual-back formations. Coaches say he has the versatility to play in several different spots on the field. After all, his little brother Rob in New England and older brother — and former Bronco — Dan have shown that there’s plenty more than blocking in the family genes.
“We can flex him out a little bit,” McCoy said. “He’s athletic enough to expand the formations and he’s got some position flexibility if you don’t want to just line up in the I-formation all day long. We can move him around.”