By Romi Bean

(CBS) – The Broncos rookies have checked off their first big NFL box: rookie minicamp. It’s the first step in a long offseason of learning, working and doing everything possible to make the Broncos’ Week One 53-man roster.

Montrell Washington

(credit: CBS)

One of the most intriguing players to watch this offseason will be Denver’s fifth round draft pick Montrell Washington.

“I’m fearless. I just think I’m fearless back there,” Washington said of his mentality as a punt returner.

Montrell Washington

(credit: CBS)

The speedster out of Samford will be competing for the returner job and trying to claim a spot in a loaded wide receiver room. The rookie knows it’s a tall task.

“Just locking in, understanding the plays and controlling what I can control — which is learning everything I have to learn and moving forward,” Washington said.

Washington was surprised went he got the call from the Broncos on day three of the NFL Draft. On his conference call with the media after his name was announced, Washington was bursting with emotion.

“To be honest, I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. I was shocked to be honest with you, because coming from Samford—FCS. Guys sleep on the conference. But we ball just like everybody else. I’m excited. I’m lost for words. I’m shaking kind of still. I’m just glad to have this opportunity. I’m going to make the most of it for sure,” he said.

Montrell Washington of the Samford Bulldogs celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13, 2021. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Fast forward to rookie minicamp and Samford is doing just that – making the most of his opportunity.

“I don’t think I’ve made it yet to this point. Yes I’m here, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I’m hungry, to be honest with you. Every day I have to prove myself . I definitely have not made it yet.”

Romi Bean