As the NFL season inches closer and closer teams prepare for the daunting task of creating a “contender”. The Denver Broncos, throughout their tumultuous offseason have battled through change and controversy but will surely be a force to be reckoned with in the fall. The surprises that will accompany this team won’t be who wins the starting quarterback job but there will be several new faces that emerge as contributors.

Every training camp has its spontaneous performers. Last year, under the shroud of private practices due to construction only the media saw the fantastic catches Cody Latimer made daily, the heavy work load Montee Ball received from John Fox and lastly it was the extra time Bradley Roby put in after every day that certainly benefited him during the regular season. This year will be no different. Some fresh faces will surprise fans and coaches and here are a few players that you may come to know in a few short weeks.

Karl Schmitz

The now famous YouTube sensation is battling to make the team after spending the last seven years out of organized football. Since 2008, when he handled both punts and kicks for Jacksonville University, Schmitz has been honing his kicking skills and posting the results on YouTube. After attending combines the past few seasons to showcase his skills the Broncos caught wind of his potential.

“He was at a kicking camp and my assistant Tony Coaxum was down there working him out and he called me as soon as it got over and said we’ve got to look at this guy. So we brought him in, John (Elway) and the personnel guys brought him in on Friday, worked out in front of all of us. That’s how we made the sign,” special teams coach Joe DeCamillis said.

The Broncos have a lot of reasons to take a good look at Schmitz. Last season they had two kickers and a punter on the roster due to a lack of versatility on the players’ part. Conor Barth finished the season as the field goal specialist but has never been good at kicking off. Brandon McManus took over those duties while Britton Colquitt and his massive contract remained in charge of the punting duties. Schmitz may lack the experience and pinpoint accuracy needed for the pressure cooker job Barth earned last year but his versatility is what makes him an interesting player to watch.

“Ideally you’d like to have one punter, one kicker and one long snapper. That’s the amount of specialists we’d like to carry going in and that’s what the goal is going in,” DeCamillis said in late May. “Karl is the only one that can really kick off; Britton has never done that.”

Max Garcia

The starting offensive line may look more like a game of musical chairs at training camp this July and it may continue into the season. The youth on the roster will not be familiar to most fans and that includes one of their rookie draft selections. Max Garcia was selected 133rd overall in May and is looking to make an impact at left guard or center this season.

“I’m just trying to go out there and prove to the coaches why they drafted me and just make myself feel like I belong here and fit the scheme,” he said June 1.

The 6-foot-4, 307-pound former Gator once again has the size and versatility the Broncos have been seeking and signing in the offseason. He played every game his last two seasons, at center the entire 2014 season and guard in his sophomore season. In 2014 he was selected to the All-SEC second team and played in the 2015 Senior Bowl.

Ben Garland and Shelley Smith remain ahead of Garcia on the depth chart but the competition will heat up a great deal when the pads go on at camp. At center Gino Gradkowski seems to have a loose grip on the starting job with second-year man Matt Paradis right behind him. Garcia may have a better chance at breaking through the lineup at center and he has been ready to display his skills and work ethic since he was drafted.

“I’m going to give it my all. I play with grit. That is how I would describe myself,” he said via phone conference immediately after being drafted May 3. “I let my actions speak for themselves. My teammates saw it in the way I practiced and the way I was in the film room.”

He has already been seen getting extra work during OTAs when the majority of the team hits the locker room. His attitude is a bright spot among his teammates and the four of the five jobs along the line are certainly still up for grabs.

Darius Kilgo

The Broncos defensive line will be a joy to watch from camp. The talent assembled is as eclectic as it gets. There are rush specialist, run stoppers, youth and veterans and one man will be flying under the radar. Darius Kilgo of the University of Maryland and the team’s 203rd overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft will be ready to make an entrance.

The 6-foot-3, 319-pound defensive tackle gained a reputation for his physical play and strength but was not asked to attend the combine. It is something that will motivate him throughout his career and he acknowledges that his landing place in Denver appears to be a great fit.

“It definitely motivated me just to come out to the Pro Day and perform to the best of my ability. Being that I didn’t get invited to the Combine, it definitely hit a nerve,” he said via phone after his selection in the draft. “I think I’ll fit great. Just coming out of Brian Stewart’s defense, which is my coordinator for the past three years, he’s had a lot of experience in the 3-4 defense, so I definitely feel like I’ll transition to the next level.”

He started all 13 games for the Terrapins in 2014 and was named to the team’s leadership council in 2013 according to the University’s site. He started in 11 games as a sophomore and 12 as a junior. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has liked what he has seen from Kilgo thus far.

“I think he’s really come on. I think part of it with those guys is that they’re all big guys. We’ve asked them to do a lot of running, so they’ve gotten into better and better shape as they’ve gone,” Phillips in early June. “Some of it is a learning progress, especially for the rookie guys, but we’ve concentrated on those guys—the young guys—this last week. I think they’ve progressed well, including Darius.”

The competition will be fierce and possibly the most intense at defensive line during training camp but Kilgo’s size and athleticism will be something to pay attention to when he lines up with the likes of Sylvester Williams, Malik Jackson and Mile Austin Jr..

Jordan Taylor

Lastly the current group of wide receivers is plentiful. Scattered throughout is a mixture of experienced veterans, return specialists and practice squad members. Among them is also a former dual college athlete and former quarterback. Jordan Taylor has already garnered some attention at OTAs with some great catches and precise routes.

“Jordan’s had a really good camp as well. He had a little injury that has kind of knocked him out these last few days, but he catches everything around him and he’s gone up and made a couple plays on some deep balls, which have stood out. I think that’s kind of what he did in college talking to some of the guys that studied him in college,” Peyton Manning said.

Taylor, undrafted out of Rice University may be a fan favorite in August. His long hair and the No. 87 he will don, reminisant of the great Ed McCaffrey, will have him sticking out at Dove Valley. Whether he can make an impact will be up to him. The deep unit will only allow him a limited amount of opportunities to catch the coaches’ eye but thus far he has been taking advantage of those moments.

According to his biography from Rice University he shined in big moments. After playing quarterback in high school and making the transition to wide receiver he had numerous games of 100-plus receiving yards and set an Owl’s record with nine catches for 153 yards as a sophomore in the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl. He finished in the top-ten of several all-time Rice receiving records and will look to continue to make big plays at training camp.

The fans will be back at Dove Valley when camp begins July 31. After missing last year due to the construction of the new field house and several renovations to the grounds it will be an exciting camp for everyone involved. Training camp brings an optimism that every player can feed off of and take advantage of. The few players mentioned above already have shown promise, now it is time to just wait and see who can keep the momentum going.

Email Sam at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @SamCowhick.