After drafting an offensive player before a defensive player for the first time in his tenure as an executive, Elway used his next two picks on defense — second-round pick Adam Gotsis and third-round pick Justin Simmons.

Gotsis, an Australian born defensive lineman from Georgia Tech, and Simmons, a versatile defensive back out of Boston College, both arrived at the UCHealth Training Center for the first time as Denver Broncos on Saturday morning, and they know they’ll have a lot to live up to.

“I know this secondary is the best. No. 1 defense in the country,” said Simmons.

While that allows them some time to develop, they know they get to learn from the best.

“Coming in here and learning from guys like T.J. Ward, Darien Stewart … that’s where I want to be after four or five, six years,” said Simmons. “I have my work cut out for me, but the ceiling’s the limit. I’m really excited and I can’t wait to learn from the best.”

Not only does Simmons understand how good the Broncos “No Fly Zone” is, but he also understands what allows this secondary to be so great — a strong front seven.

“Our secondary [at Boston College] was good. Our front seven was that much better,” said Simmons. “I don’t care how good you are, you can’t cover for 12 seconds back there. If you don’t have a good front seven that gets after the quarterback.”

Outside of the excitement of being drafted, Simmons must be extra thrilled that Elway selected a defensive lineman in the second round.

Gotsis, having only played American rules football for seven years, said that his experience with Australian rules football helps with his endurance on the field.

“I feel like I can go out there and play all day and don’t fatigue,” said Gotsis. “You go from running eight miles a game…to coming here to a lot of bursts and explosiveness, but your body is used to recovering quickly.”

While the easy and quick comparison of Gotsis would be current Bronco Derek Wolfe, Gotsis has another player in mind.

“I like high motor guys like [Texans DE] J.J. Watt. The guys that can play in and out, that can play the three-technique or the five-technique or go into the two-technique or a shade.”

If anyone is hesitant on Gotsis’ ceiling, he only started playing defensive line full-time once he joined Georgia Tech.

“I was initially trying to get recruited as an offensive tackle,” said Gotsis. “[Georgia Tech] only had six returning defensive lineman so we are going to start you over there and the rest was just history.”

Now Gotsis gets to work with defensive line coach Bill Kollar and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. With his talent and their coaching ability, Gotsis certainly could be a threat in a few years.

Both Gotsis and Simmons were very excited to be drafted by an NFL team, specifically the Broncos. In fact, Simmons was hoping that the Broncos didn’t change their mind when they called him to let them know he was their choice.

“I’m excited. I don’t even know how else to explain it,” said Simmons. “When I got the call last night, I was praying that I was saying the right words so I didn’t mess anything up.”