Following the Elvis Dumervil departure, the Denver Broncos were anxious to fill the missing void. Having totaled 11 sacks and six forced fumbles last season, Dumervil was named to his third Pro Bowl and was solidifying his position as one of the dominant pass rushers in the NFL.
But after the debacle with contract filing, Dumervil is now a member of the Baltimore Ravens.
Following this reality, Denver quickly realized that in this year’s draft they needed to secure a solid defensive player who could supply the missing pass rush. The Broncos looked for a defensive tackle, but did not anticipate claiming Sylvester Williams from North Carolina with the 28th overall pick.
“We’re fortunate,” Broncos Vice President of Football Operation John Elway told 9News. “You never know how it’s going to fall, with the anticipation of waiting all day to see when we get to out pick and what’s going to be left on the board. It fell perfect for us.”
Williams was a dominant force at North Carolina. Last season, he amassed 42 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks. The 6-foot-3, 313-pound monster is expected to start right away on the defensive front.
“He’s a guy that’s athletic, big and strong inside,” Elway continued. “We’ve been looking for defensive tackles for a long time. It’s been a need for us for a long time. He’ll be a great anchor for us on the inside.”
One of the most impressive aspects of this rookie is his ability to get off the ball. He’s explosive, exciting, and can certainly disrupt the flow of the game. In a league that seems to be shifting more to spread option styles, his quickness off the ball should make the Broncos even more of a defensive threat.
Williams, alongside last year’s rookie Derek Wolfe, is expected to provide the quality rush needed to effectively clog the inside line. The Broncos hope that the exhausting inside pressure will open up many outside pass rushing lanes for Von Miller and company.
Besides acquiring Williams, the Broncos also made a bold statement for their aggressive nature by signing former San Diego Chargers LB Shaun Phillips. Phillips, like Williams, should give the Broncos another versatile weapon for this upcoming season.