Posted Fri Apr 29th by Monty
A sampling of what the Know-It-Alls are saying hours after the Broncos‘ first-round selection of linebacker Von Miller.
I’m not saying No. 2 overall pick Von Miller is the next Aaron Curry, but the history of taking outside linebackers in the top five, then playing them in 4-3 defenses, isn’t all that glowing in terms of recent impact.
Curry went fourth overall in 2009 to Seattle and hasn’t done much yet. Others who haven’t or didn’t earn their top-five billing include Keith Rivers (9th to Cincy in 2008), A.J. Hawk (No. 5 overall in 2006 — he’s now in a 3-4) and LaVar Arrington (No. 2 pick in 2000).
That’s not the most exhaustive sampling, but the point is the track record isn’t all that good. Maybe Miller breaks the mold in Denver. But if not, the Broncos might be guilty of ignoring the lessons of (recent) history, and being doomed to repeat them.
“Von Miller is the best player in this draft,” Green Bay Packers director of college scouting John Dorsey said. “Why I say that is you can’t throw away from him. He’s going to put pressure on the quarterback.
“With Patrick Peterson (the LSU cornerback who went fifth to the Arizona Cardinals), you can throw away from him. But not Von.”
While many personnel evaluators thought the Broncos would wind up selecting defensive tackle Marcel Dareus (sic), Denver got better value with Miller. Miller is perhaps the best pass rusher available for the NFL draft in many years. His positional versatility was clearly viewed as an asset by head coach John Fox and he will line up at defensive end and strongside linebacker in Denver’s 4-3 defensive scheme this season. Now the Broncos can look at improving their secondary or interior defensive line with their next selection.
I think they are forcing getting a pass rusher with this pick. He is a little overrated. They should have taken Marcell Dareus. Grade: C.
In the first of the John Elway-supervised drafts, the Broncos believe they got in Miller a “can’t-miss” player, the way Elway was once considered a “can’t-miss” QB. Miller’s also a model citizen, religious and whip smart; his character and background check were found to be so blemish-free, the Broncos weren’t concerned Miller might be a rabble rouser.
Then again, Elway, the original rabble rouser, might have taken an extra shine to Miller because of the kid’s gutsy decision to add his name and voice to the labor fight.
During his career, the player Elway spent the most time trying to figure out was Kansas City Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas. No player gave Elway more trouble than Thomas. He sacked Elway 26 times, more than any other quarterback in his career.
Perhaps that’s why Elway was drawn to Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, whom Denver took with the No. 2 pick of the NFL draft Thursday. Miller has drawn strong comparisons to Thomas. Recently, Miller said he has modeled his life on and off the field after Thomas, who died in 2000 from complications sustained in an auto accident.
“I watched his film and studied his film,” Miller said. “I watched all his interviews, and the point of view he had on the game is similar to the way I feel … I could never, ever play like Derrick Thomas. But he played with a fanatical effort, a relentless effort, and that’s what I try to do — to play with that same attitude.”
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.