2011 NFL Draft: Are the Denver Broncos Overlooking Von Miller?

Rob GregoryCorrespondent IIApril 19, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Von Miller of Texas A&M works out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The price tag for the No. 2 overall pick may prove to be too costly for a lot of teams wanting to trade up to get one of the top quarterbacks in this draft, so what will the Broncos do if they have to stay at the No. 2 spot?

Most of the talk has been about drafting either LSU’s Patrick Peterson or Alabama’s Marcell Dareus. What about instead drafting Texas A&M’s Von Miller?

Miller, like Peterson and Dareus, is considered a true “blue-chip” player. He is s safe pick because he has shown that he can be a durable and reliable athlete at the next level. He is quick and explosive, and he has a wonderful knack for quickly finding the ball and making a play.

Some question whether or not he is big enough to get past offensive lineman, but nobody questions his overall talent, maturity and intelligence. He could be the next great linebacker in the NFL. Then again, he could be a lot of things—including an average player, since there are no guarantees in the NFL. 

But the same thing goes for Peterson and Dareus.

Peterson could be the next shut-down corner, and Dareus could help transform the Broncos into an intimidating defensive unit, but then again, they can’t make any promises.

And if Miller turns out to be the guy that scouts think he can be, then maybe the Broncos stand to gain the most by making him the number two pick in the draft. 

The Broncos' most glaring need last season was their inability to apply pressure on the quarterback.

How many times did you ask yourself, “Are these guys ever going to get in that back-field? How long is this quarterback going to have to scan the field? Is this some kind of record, most time allowed to a quarterback on a play?”

It was inexcusable. At times there appeared to be zero pressure and pass rush, even on plays where the Broncos sent extra guys. 

This of course led to a lot of big plays for the opponents. It resulted in the Broncos defense getting carved up; you can have Champ Bailey, and for that matter, Champ Bailey and Patrick Peterson, on your team, but if you don’t apply pressure than your whole team will suffer.

That’s why Von Miller makes a lot of sense for the Denver Broncos.  

The Broncos can line him up as a linebacker on the opposite side of D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil. With Dumervil sprinting from the defensive-line, Miller can create havoc and get into the backfield from a different path.

In a league that is dominated by big passing offense and great quarterbacks, getting to the quarterback is going to be paramount. And a combination of Miller and Dumervil can help transform the defense in important ways. 

For one, it can mean that the cornerbacks can just do their jobs, but not have to worry about doing the impossible—covering speedy and incredibly talented wide-receivers for incredibly-long stretches of time. It can also mean that the Broncos are able to force more turnovers, which was a rarity for the Broncos defense last season. 

Getting in the quarterback’s face while he still has the ball means errant throws, deflected passes, fumbles and more. Those are all good things for a Broncos defense that is looking to improve by leaps-and-bounds in the first year under new head coach John Fox. 

Peterson and Dareus are tremendous athletes who can really improve a team’s defense. But can they give the Broncos exactly what Von Miller can?

With the draft just over a week away, we may find out soon enough.