Rookie Beadles’ versatility crucial for Broncos |

Rookie Beadles’ versatility crucial for Broncos

Lindsay H. Jones
The Denver Post
Vail, CO Colorado
Denver Broncos rookie offensive tackle Zane Beadles completes a drill on Friday, April 30, 2010, at the team's headquarters in Englewood, Colo. The Broncos will hold their rookie camp through the weekend. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

When the Broncos drafted Zane Beadles at No. 45 overall last Friday, they couldn’t have imagined just how important the offensive lineman’s versatility would be immediately.

Beadles, who played tackle at the University of Utah, took reps at both left and right tackle Friday in the first day of the team’s rookies-only minicamp, and expects also to work at guard throughout the preseason.

Those reps at left tackle are especially important now that starter Ryan Clady will miss at least three months after partially tearing his patella tendon while playing basketball last week.

“Definitely that’s not a good thing for the team, you never want to hear someone go down with an injury,” Beadles said. “But for me, it’s not something I need to worry about. I need to come in here, and whether he’s here or not, I’ve got to work hard and learn as much as I can. Because it is a huge step up from college.”

Beadles will likely continue to work at both tackle positions when the team holds its first full-squad minicamp from May 17-19, though Tyler Polumbus will likely see significant reps at left tackle as well while Clady heals.

“The big thing is just learning, and I think the best way to learn is by making mistakes,” Beadles said. “I’ll get plenty of chances to do that.”

Neither of the Broncos two rookie wide receivers, first-round pick Demaryius Thomas or third-round pick Eric Decker, were able to participate in the first minicamp. Both are recovering from foot surgeries.

Thomas broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot just before the combine. He said he hopes to be able to participate in the team camps in mid to late May. Decker suffered a Lisfranc sprain midway through last season at the University of Minnesota, and he might not be ready to practice until the start of training camp in late July.

But both players wore their new Broncos practice jerseys and helmets Friday as they joined their new teammates on the field for stretching. They also watched the receiver and offensive drills.

“A lot of it is the mental reps, in the film room and on the field, just trying to see the formations and understand what to do out there,” Decker said.

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