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Broncos Draft Sylvester Williams: What Led to the Pick

One of the most interesting aspects of the draft isn't who your favorite team picks, but how your favorite team ended up with the pick. Here is how North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams became a member of the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos selected defensive tackle Sylvester Williams in the first round of 2013's NFL Draft.
The Broncos selected defensive tackle Sylvester Williams in the first round of 2013's NFL Draft.

As the 2013 NFL Draft moved past the Indianapolis Colts at the 23rd pick in the first round the Denver Broncos war room took a stance. They had fielded at least one phone call to trade back and that phone call led to an offer on the table for the 28th overall pick in the first round.

They hadn't considered at this point trading up, though situations where Denver would trade up had been discussed prior to the draft. Elway stated in his post first round draft conference that, "By the time it came [close] to our pick, we felt good, [Xavier] Rhodes was still up there, [Datone] Jones was still up there and [Sylvester] Williams was still up there."

However, there were three players that the team coveted and one was about to leave the board, gone at 25th overall was cornerback Xavier Rhodes to the Minnesota Vikings and at 26th overall defensive end Datone Jones was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. The 27th pick belonged to the Houston Texans and Elway's good friends Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips were in on the decision.

Had the Texans gone with defensive tackle Sylvester Williams from North Carolina, the Broncos likely would have ended up with the same or a similar deal that the Minnesota Vikings gave to the New England Patriots to move up to number 29 (a second (No. 52 overall), third (No. 83 overall), fourth (No. 102 overall) and a seventh (No. 229 overall)) and not made a pick until the second round.

However, the Texans went with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins at 28 and Denver made Sylvester Williams their first round selection.

So a trade back and possibly out of the first was no longer a possibility, because as Elway continued, "As things started playing out, it started looking like we were going to end up with a pretty good football player."

And they did.