Denver Broncos: A Look at What Shaun Phillips Brings to the Team

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IIApril 28, 2013

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Linebacker Shaun Phillips #95 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates a sack in the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 16, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Lost within the 2013 NFL draft was the news (via ESPN) that the Denver Broncos had acquired veteran linebacker Shaun Phillips.

This is a great move by the Broncos—one that will give them another elite pass-rusher.

Phillips is coming off a 2012 season in which he recorded 9.5 sacks for the San Diego Chargers. For his career in San Diego, he had 69.5 sacks and managed at least seven sacks in seven of his nine NFL seasons.

Now that he is a Bronco, it is clear that he was signed to do one thing—get after the quarterback.

Denver may have to turn to a combination of players to rush the opposing quarterback the way Elvis Dumervil did and Phillips is a great choice to do that.

Between Phillips, Von Miller and Derek Wolfe, the Broncos have three players who combined for 34 sacks last season. Perhaps Dumervil won't be missed so badly after all?

Aside from the ability to pressure quarterbacks, Phillips brings a veteran presence to a defensive unit that features several young players.

He should be especially useful in helping the linebackers, a position he played in San Diego with players like Shawne Merriman, Stephen Cooper and Donnie Edwards.

Though Miller and Wesley Woodyard are both coming off stellar individual seasons, they could become even better with a guy like Phillips around.

Not only have the Broncos added another strong pass-rusher to their roster, but they can now unleash him on his former team and Denver's division rival.

Only Leslie O'Neal has more sacks in Chargers' history than Phillips with six of those having come against the Broncos.

Seeing what Phillips could do firsthand twice per year likely had a lot to do with this signing.

While the Broncos selected defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, running back Montee Ball and five other players in the draft (via CBS Sports), the signing of Phillips may have been their best move this weekend.