Denver's top pick looks the part

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -– It is early, but one of the more impressive players in Denver is its first-round pick, receiver Demaryius Thomas.

Thomas, the No. 22 overall pick out of Georgia Tech, is big, strong, fast and appears willing to do everything necessary to be a quality No. 1 starter. Like every other young receiver, Thomas has had his share of drops, but he’s also made some nice plays.

“He’s doing great. In terms of trying to get better at the things that he has struggled with or made an error with -- he has really worked hard to try to fix those,” Denver coach Josh McDaniels said. “He’s had a great attitude and approach. He hasn’t made the same error a lot. You know, he’s dropped a couple balls -- I think that everyone has seen this guy make tremendous catches and then there’s been some other ones that he’s dropped. I think that comes with playing and knocking off some of the rust and you know, it’s only his fourth or fifth practice where he’s been out there against NFL-caliber defensive backs. Like I said, he’ll only get better every day and today was better than yesterday.”

Thomas received special attention Friday after practice from former Broncos star receiver Rod Smith. Smith, who retired after the 2007 season, has been a regular visitor to Denver’s practice facility to help youngsters. Thomas is Smith's next project.

“[Smith] helped me out a lot, actually,” Thomas said. “Just some of the stuff that he told me he did and would help me out and I tried it today and it did help … [Smith’s advice] was basically getting off the line and getting off the press and using my body and using my shoulders -- something I never did before.”

The Broncos have high expectations for Thomas. The team needs a new go-to receiver after trading Brandon Marshall to Miami.