The card is in and the Denver Broncos have selected linebacker Von Miller from Texas A&M with the second pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Miller is hands down the best pass rusher in the draft, and will give the Broncos something that incoming head coach John Fox loves - a strongside linebacker that can rush the passer.
Miller accumulated 27.5 sacks the past two years for the Aggies while making 39 tackles for a loss. Miller was the 2010 recipient of the Butkus Award as the Nation's top linebacker while being named a consensus 1st Team All-American. Miller led the country with 17 sacks in 2009 and can be a force.
In what might be the biggest compliment to the type of player Von Miller is, he has been compared at times to Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs. John Elway is very familiar with the kind of player Thomas was and now he is hoping to get a modern-day version for the Broncos.
I asked Dan Kadar from Mocking The Draft for his thoughts on the Miller pick:
Given the names floated around – namely Marcell Dareus and Patrick Peterson – it seems like the Broncos were trying desperately to shop this pick. In Miller, the Broncos have a player who is a good foil to Elvis Dumervil. John Fox is excellent at putting his front seven in the right spots to make plays. Miller is a true pass rush weapon for Denver. I just fear he's not much else right now. Teams are going to run at Miller and he might have a hard time adjusting at first.
It was at MtD, in March, that I selected Miller with the #2 pick in the SBNation Mock Draft. Needless to say, I am happy. More work needs to be done, however. The Broncos need to address the defensive line - and they will have their chance in the 2nd Round.
Whether Miller was your guy or not, let's come together and welcome Von Miller to the Denver Broncos!