Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos: 6 Players Who Have Made the Most of Training Camp

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIAugust 2, 2014

Denver Broncos: 6 Players Who Have Made the Most of Training Camp

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Denver Broncos are over a week into training camp and looking forward to their first preseason game next Thursday.

    Many players, such as Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware and Demaryius Thomas are just using that time to sharpen their skills and get acclimated with new teammates.

    For others, that time is crucial to their NFL futures.

    Several players are trying to showcase their skills to the coaching staff, doing what it takes to move up the depth chart, or in some cases—stay on the team.

    Those are the players we will focus on here.

    Who are the players that have taken advantage of their time in training camp thus far, making the biggest impression on coaches? Who are the guys who have staked their claim to a position or a spot on the roster?

    You'll get all the latest from training camp here.

Lerentee McCray, Linebacker

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    JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press

    Lerentee McCray was a force in training camp last season, and although he went undrafted coming out of college, he had a good shot at making the roster. That was until a season-ending injury in the team's final preseason game ended his hopes.

    McCray has come back this summer and shown he is determined to grab a spot on the 53-man squad this year.

    Working with the starting unit while Von Miller recovers from surgery, McCray has made his presence known in camp by making many plays.

    As Lauren Giudice of the team's official website reports, McCray was able to get to Peyton Manning for a sack in one practice before later forcing Brock Osweiler to fumble.

    The Broncos could certainly use the athletic, disruptive McCray on their defense, and if he keeps up this level of play, he'll be a lock to make the team.

Jordan Norwood, Wide Receiver

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    JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press

    The Broncos have tremendous depth at wide receiver, but that hasn't stopped Jordan Norwood from showing what he can do.

    Early in camp, Norwood stood out by making two nice grabs on passes from Brock Osweiler. In Day 7 of camp, Lauren Giudice mentioned how Norwood was able to rekindle that connection with Osweiler, making two big plays during team drills.

    Norwood enjoyed a short career in Cleveland, catching 36 passes and scoring one touchdown, but he faces extreme odds of making the team in Denver.

    But if nothing else, he is showing to be very helpful in the development of Osweiler this summer.

     

Marvin Austin, Defensive Lineman

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Marvin Austin is not wasting the chance he's getting in Denver.

    The former second-round draft pick of the New York Giants is now playing on his fourth team in four seasons, but he is showing the Denver coaching staff the traits that made him a high draft pick out of North Carolina.

    On Day 3 of camp, which was the first day the team was in full pads, Austin had an excellent day, as reported by David Dechant of the team's official website.

    Austin has been full of energy, looking every bit like a player who will make the final roster.

    That decision will likely come down to him or Mitch Unrein. The coaching staff will have to choose between Unrein's reliable play or Austin's high-reward potential.

    Can Austin stay healthy is the big question. In his short career, he has had to deal with a torn pectoral muscle and an injury to his back. If Denver takes the risk on his health, Austin will be a part of the team in 2014.

    In Denver, Austin will be in a place where they get the most out of the defensive tackle position—just look at how Terrance Knighton performed last year.

    Playing behind Knighton, Kevin Vickerson and Sylvester Williams, Austin could be a major weapon for Denver to rotate into games this season.

     

Ronnie Hillman, Running Back

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Ronnie Hillman appears to be taking last year's demotion to heart.

    After starting the season as the team's featured back, Hillman let a fumbling issue place him on the bench. He rarely saw the field from that point and didn't play a snap in the postseason.

    This year, Hillman already knows Montee Ball has the starting job locked down. However, he must also deal with second-year running back C.J. Anderson hunting down the backup job.

    In camp, Hillman has looked good. Running backs coach Eric Studesville went as far as to say he's been "unbelievable" since the team started getting together in the spring.

    The Broncos obviously love what they have in Ball, and they may be intrigued by what Anderson brings to the table, but Hillman possesses speed and cutback ability neither one of them does.

    If Hillman overcomes his fumbling problem, he can be a huge asset to the offense as a change-of-pace back.

Kenny Anunike, Defensive End

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    JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press

    The Broncos feature a bevy of players who can get after the quarterback, but undrafted rookie Kenny Anunike isn't letting that deter him.

    As David Dechant has reported, Anunike is repeatedly showing up and making plays in camp. On Day 3, he went around veteran tackle Winston Justice multiple times, getting what would-be sacks in a live game.

    In Day 5 of camp, Anunike beat Paul Cornick to make a couple of big plays.

    What has stood out about Anunike's play is his ability to make stops in the running game as well as rushing the passer. A versatile defensive end is something any team in the league wants, and Anunike could be a force down the road.

    With the list of players in front of him, it will be hard for Anunike to make the squad. It would be shocking not to see him at least on the practice squad, however.

     

Cody Latimer, Wide Receiver

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    Byline Withheld/Associated Press

    When the Broncos selected Cody Latimer in the second round of this year's draft, it appeared they were just trying to set themselves up for the future at the position.

    But with the way Latimer is catching on, it appears he'll be able to help immediately. He has arguably been as good as any player in Denver's camp.

    Just days into camp, Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post already liked what he saw out of Latimer. He has continued the high level of play throughout camp.

    After a solid first week of practice, David Dechant talked about what may be the best play made in camp so far, which was a one-handed grab by Latimer in traffic that led to a touchdown.

    Cody Latimer making plays again. In the flat from Manning, deep post from Osweiler. This is becoming a habit.

    — Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) July 31, 2014

    The Broncos have one of the top wide receiver groups in the league, and Latimer may just be the cherry on top.

     

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