2011 NFL Draft Results: Is Von Miller the Second Coming of Derrick Thomas?

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IApril 28, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell greets Von Miller, #2 overall pick by the Denver Broncos, during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

John Elway Tells People There Was A Plan

While John Elway had everyone distracted with the quarterback issue, he quietly was doing his homework on defensive prospects.

As a result, the Broncos end up with Von Miller, one of the best linebackers in the draft. Miller is being compared to Derrick Thomas, and the comparisons are good ones.

From ESPN.com:

Thomas finished with 126.5 career sacks. Elway and the rest of the Denver brass, including new coach John Fox, who is a defensive specialist, are banking on Miller becoming that type of impact player in Denver.

Thomas sacked Elway 26 times in his career, so Elway knows any player who models his career on Thomas is someone he should be paying attention to.

Miller says in the ESPN piece he has looked at Thomas as a role model in how to play the game, and that had to have had an impact when Denver was making the Marcell Dareus/Von Miller decision.

The Broncos will be giving their defense a very big overhaul and it is important they keep the defense in mind with two picks in the second round.

There is nothing wrong with taking the best offensive player available with any one of the two picks, but at least one of the picks in the second round should go to the defense.

With Miller, the Broncos pass rush gets an immediate upgrade and the Broncos defense gets a lot better.

The Broncos did not just get to this decision lightly, as the ESPN article describes:

Elway told ESPN’s Ed Werder Wednesday that Miller was the most dynamic pass-rusher in a class full of outstanding pass-rushers. Denver was also mesmerized by Miller’s athleticism. Denver general manager Brian Xanders told Werder that the team did a computer analysis of Miller’s athletic measurables compared to the 64 current starting wide receivers and cornerbacks and Miller rated out above average athletically.

Should Elvis Dumervil return and be 100 percent in 2011, this gives the Broncos legit threats to stop both the run and the passing game.

Now the Broncos just have to sort out their offense and figure out if Tim Tebow will be a starter or if Kyle Orton is the future of the franchise.

That only can be answered on the field, but the 2011 season should provide all the answers Elway wants.

MUST READ: Live NFL Draft Blog Plus Grading The Picks