Broncos draft defensive tackle Sylvester Williams in 1st round

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos draft defensive tackle Sylvester Williams from North Carolina. Photo: Liz Condo/US Presswire

Denver Broncos draft defensive tackle Sylvester Williams from North Carolina. Photo: Liz Condo/US Presswire

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The Denver Broncos used the 28th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft to select defensive tackle Sylvester Williams from the University of North Carolina late Thursday night.

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The newest Denver Broncos talked on a conference call late Thursday night:

If he had any idea that he would get a chance to play for the Broncos:
“No, I had no idea. I was really looking forward to being a first-round pick and to come in and give it all I got for whatever team takes a chance on me. The Denver Broncos took a chance on me at [pick No.] 28. At the end of the day I’m the 28th pick in the draft, and I’m going to come in and give the Denver Broncos everything I got.”

How working at a radiator factory after high school has motivated him in his career
“I worked at that factory, and I know exactly what it’s like to do that, and that’s where I never want to be at again in my life. [Being selected in the NFL] is the first step to better my future. I thank the Denver Broncos [and] I promise you all I’m going to continue to work hard because I’ve been like that for my whole life. I worked in that factory, and it showed me what hard work really is.  Being able to play football as a job is a blessing.”

How much contact he had with the Broncos prior to the draft
“I had a very little contact. I came out there for a visit last week. I had a really good visit with the Broncos. I felt at home when I was out there, and I really look forward to the opportunity. When they called on me it was a blessing. I’m going to be a Bronco, and I can’t wait to give it everything I’ve got.”

On his decision to first play organized football as a senior in high school
“It was a really hard call for me. I used to be a basketball player, and I thought I was really good. But big name colleges weren’t interested in me as a basketball player, so finally my senior year I gave it a try. I loved the game of basketball.”

On his two years of experience at Coffeyville Community College
“[Going] to Coffeyville basically made my whole entire career, because when I went to Coffeyville I worked the [defensive] line and got to compete at a high level. It helped me to learn how to work hard.”

The Broncos plan to officially introduce Williams at a news conference Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the team's training facilities at Dove Valley.


Sylvester Williams is the No. 8 player in the draft ranking from SB Nation's Dan Kadar and the third-ranked defensive tackle.

Williams quit football after high school but he got back into the game in junior college. He walked on at Coffeyville Community College after working for working time in a factory and after two years he was an honorable mention JC All-American. Several major programs worked on getting him but he chose North Carolina. He then became one of the standout players on the Tar Heels' defensive line.

The Broncos need help all over the defensive line, especially after the Elvis Dumervil debacle. They chose to address defensive tackle first, and Williams will instantly be a rotational player, if not a starter in 2013.

In a prospect profile on SB Nation, the following were listed as positives for Williams:

-Quick first step for a man with such a large frame. He has the size to play as either a nose tackle or a three-technique defensive tackle, but is better suited to play as a three-technique in a 4-3 system.

-Unsurprisingly, Williams possesses a lot of raw strength and is good at using his arms to deal with offensive linemen and bring down ball carriers.

-Williams has a great swim move and can do it with both arms. However, the swim is his only real move, which will become an issue at the NFL level if he can't develop another way to get past offensive linemen.

Combine results
Height: 6'3
Weight: 313 lbs.
Hand size: 10 3/4 inches
40-yard dash: 5.03 seconds
Vertical jump: 26.5 inches

Williams was projected as a nose tackle in the NFL and should be able to anchor a defensive line against the run. He is very quick for his size and is a naturally gifted athlete. He was used as a pass rusher at times while at North Carolina but likely won't be asked to rush the passer at the next level nearly as much. Williams can be tough to move for an offensive lineman and could be productive early as a rookie.

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