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Rookie Garett Bolles has earned time with Broncos' starters

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- When the Denver Broncos made tackle Garett Bolles the 20th selection in April’s draft, they did so with an eye toward the rookie having what it takes to earn a starting job.

And as the Broncos opened their mandatory minicamp Tuesday, it's become clear that Bolles continues to climb the depth chart toward the first team.

“[He’s made] a lot of progress," Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “It’s a tough spot to play as a rookie. … When he knows what to do, he can block his guy, his talent shows. … He’s a first-round pick for a reason."

Bolles split time at left tackle with the starter Ty Sambrailo on Tuesday. It was Bolles’ most extensive work with the first team in the offseason program. When the Broncos opened their OTAs in May, Donald Stephenson got the first look at left tackle. Then Sambrailo moved into a starting role, and now Bolles has edged his way deeper into the discussion.

The Broncos have two more days of their mandatory minicamp this week before they adjourn until training camp in late July.

“He’s done a good job. It’s tough," quarterback Trevor Siemian said. “We got him working at left tackle, and that’s tough for a young guy, especially against the guys we’ve got. So he’s doing a good job; he’s got the right mentality and he’s stacking some good days together, which I think as a young player … is what you really want to do. I think he’s special; he’s got a really bright future."

Bolles’ work with the starters Tuesday was part of some juggling the Broncos did up front. Ronald Leary, who was signed in free agency and has worked at left guard through to the offseason program, was put at right guard Tuesday, and Max Garcia, who has been at right guard, was moved to the left side.

Garcia played at left guard last season but had been moved when the Broncos began their offseason work because Leary had played primarily left guard in his time with the Dallas Cowboys. Leary has said he didn’t have a preference and would play “wherever they want me to.’’

“Hopefully that’s a better mesh for us," Joseph said after Tuesday’s practice. “We think Max is more comfortable playing left and Ronald -- he doesn’t care."