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OLB Miller a perfect fit for Denver's defense

About the Author

Alex Mayster

amayster@pfwmedia.com
Editorial assistant

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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 8:13 p.m. ET
By Alex Mayster

Legendary Broncos QB John Elway made a great pick in his first official draft as a member of Denver's front office, landing an outstanding player in Texas A&M OLB Von Miller who also fills a huge need.

After finishing the 2010 campaign with the league's worst defense and an NFL-low 23 sacks, the Broncos had no real choice but to add a player on that side of the ball. Miller appears to have the talent to become an elite pass rusher and is a player that, I think, will be a perfect fit in Fox's 4-3 defensive scheme.

PFW draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki has described Miller as having "perennial pro bowl potential" and has said that Miller "possesses the most explosive edge burst in this year's draft."

Those traits should serve Miller well as he takes over one of the OLB spots left by vacant when it was announced that Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers would become defensive ends. With Ayers shifting to defensive end — his college position and a spot where Fox envisions him being more productive — and Dumervil returning after missing all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, Miller will allow the Broncos' defense to turn things around quicker than expected.

Denver's linebacking corps seemed somewhat bare before Miller's selection, but his presence as a pass rusher will allow players such as LB D.J. Williams to stick to his ball-hawking duties and potentially make things easier on a veteran secondary. Yes, the organization could have went with Alabama DT Marcell Dareus or LSU CB Patrick Peterson and still have gotten solid production, but Miller's selection best sets the Broncos up for long term success.

The front office will still have the chance to add a productive defensive tackle in the later round and, while it would have been exciting to pair Peterson with CB Champ Bailey, even great corners will struggle if opposing quarterbacks have all day to throw the ball.

In their first season running the team, Elway, Fox and GM Brian Xanders got a player they can build the franchise around in Miller.

 

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