- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Remember a couple of years ago when the defensive tackle position was a problem for the Denver Broncos?
Not so much anymore.
The Broncos continued to get bigger in the middle of the defense Thursday night when they took advantage of an unexpected fall by North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams.
“That is a steal in the first round,” ESPN analyst Todd McShay said on the air of Denver getting Williams with the 28th overall pick in the draft.
The Williams choice was typical of the John Elway regime. The Broncos took the best defensive player on the board. Elway’s mantra is to let the board come to him, and that’s what happened when Williams dropped to Denver.
Williams, who was expected to be picked in the 18-25 range, is disruptive and athletic. He has a chance to boost Denver’s rotation immediately. Denver also signed Terrance Knighton in free agency; he and Kevin Vickerson will help, too. Denver’s run defense should rapidly improve with the additions of Knighton and Williams.
Denver was expected to take a pass-rusher to make up for the loss of Elvis Dumervil. The Broncos could take one later in the draft or sign a veteran such as Dwight Freeney or John Abraham. In the meantime, Robert Ayers and Derek Wolfe will be asked to assist star Von Miller.
While Denver’s defense is not complete, the Williams pick does significantly improve the unit, which finished last season No. 2 in the NFL.
19hEric D. Williams