KUSA - They already know already what it's going to feel like to run out on to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, yet Kapri Bibbs and Shaquil Barrett haven't played a single down for the Broncos.
The pair of Colorado State products were signed by Denver as undrafted free agents immediately following the NFL Draft over the weekend. Their experience playing in the Rocky Mountain Showdown likely didn't play a factor – though general manager John Elway thought each player could make an impact with the Broncos just miles down the road from CSU.
"They are both good football players," Elway said. "So they're two guys that we're excited to be able to keep in-state."
Bibbs set a school record with 1,741 yards and 31 rushing touchdowns in his only year with the Rams. Barrett earned Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors and finished with 80 total tackles, including 20.5 tackles for loss.
Although the motives behind each of their signings may be different, it's simply the opportunity every NFL prospect is hoping to get.
"We try to find good football players but we also try to fill numbers," the general manager of the strategy on picking up undrafted free agents. Elway put an emphasis on linebacker in the draft – selecting LSU's Lamin Barrow and Oklahoma's Corey Nelson on the third day – but decided to take a chance on Barrett. The Broncos didn't pick a single running back over the seven rounds, but decided to pick up Bibbs along with Duke's Juwan Thompson and Oklahoma's Brennan Clay.
"It really comes down to workload and how many guys are going to be at practice. So when we get to free agency, we do try to find the best players and the numbers that we do have," Elway continued.
The Broncos have kept an undrafted free agent each of the past 10 seasons – if Bibbs or Barrett want to be that player they'll now need to impress head coach John Fox.