Sylvester Williams: How Will Broncos' Newest Defensive Tackle Fare in the Pros?

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2013

Nov, 26, 2011; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils quarterback Anthony Boone (7) is pressured by North Carolina Tar Heels defensive tackle Sylvester Williams (92) on fourth down in the fourth quarter. The Tar Heels defeated the Blue Devils 37-21at Kenan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the 28th pick in the first round, the Broncos select North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. 

Williams joins Robert Ayers and Jarvis Moss as the only defensive linemen selected in the first round by the Broncos since 2000.


Pro Outlook

Williams is a versatile lineman, who has the strength to plug holes but is also explosive and athletic enough to be disruptive in the backfield. 

There aren't many lineman around with Williams' combination of size and speed, and John Fox and Jack Del Rio will enjoy using his versatility. 

Del Rio and Fox are two of the best at putting players in the best position to succeed, so Williams should find immediate success in Denver.


Fantasy Outlook

The Broncos ranked third in the league in rushing defense in 2012, and their front seven just got significantly better. Unless you own a must-start running back, you'll want to bench your guys against Denver in 2013.


Roster Outlook

The Broncos added former Jaguars' tackle Terrance Knighton in free agency, and he will be plugged into the starting role at nose tackle. Williams will then occupy the three-technique spot next to Knighton, giving the Broncos a new-look defensive line.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the Broncos' defensive tackles recorded just two sacks in 2012. That will change in 2013 with Williams wreaking havoc in the middle of the line. 


Pick Analysis

In the late first round, Williams had great value, and he is an excellent fit in John Fox's defense. Both in terms of short-term and long-term value, the Broncos hit a home run with this selection.


Grade: A