ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --The interior of the Broncos defensive line added another stout piece in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
With the 28th overall pick, the club selected North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, who led all defensive tackles in BCS conferences with 25 quarterback pressures in 2012.
"Thrilled to select DT Sylvester Williams from UNC," Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway tweeted.
Williams shed approximately 30 pounds before his final season with the Tar Heels, and used his newfound speed to often break through the offensive line into opposing backfields. He finished his senior campaign with 13.5 tackles for loss.
At 6-foot-3, 313 pounds, Williams adds plenty of size to the line, which also added 330-pound defensive tackle Terrance Knighton through free agency and re-signed 290-pound tackle Kevin Vickerson.
In his career, Williams notched 20.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
"A defensive tackle has been a need for us for a long, long time," Elway told fans at the team's official draft party. "We didn't think we would have a chance to get Sylvester, but he did slide down to us. Now, he gives us an anchor, a young guy that plays hard and I think he will make everybody – all those Broncos fans included – proud of the way he plays the game. We are thrilled to have Sylvester."
Williams played just two seasons at North Carolina and graduated with a degree in communications after beginning his collegiate career at Coffeyville Community College, where he was named all-conference and honorable-mention All-America.
"When I was kicked out of high school my sophomore year, that's probably the lowest I've been to this point in my life," Williams said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "So to be able to go back and graduate with my class -- eventually I worked at a factory for about six months before I went back to junior college. It's one of the best decisions I've made in my life because it ultimately led me to have an opportunity to be here today."
Working at the Modine Manufacturing Company, Williams said he had nothing but time to think about what he wanted to do with his life. It's part of what helped him get back to football after playing just one year in high school.
"I knew I wanted to do something great in my life, and it wasn't at that factory," Williams said. "I love the game to death. I eat, sleep and dream football. Every day I wake up, I think about football, and I go to sleep thinking about football. This is an opportunity to do something great with my life."