ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Just minutes after the conclusion of the first day of training camp, the Broncos finished signing their 2013 NFL Draft class, as first-round pick Sylvester Williams signed his rookie contract on Thursday afternoon.
The 6'2, 313 pound defensive lineman out of North Carolina was selected No. 28 overall in the NFL Draft this past April – and Williams didn't wait long to showcase his on-field determination during rookie minicamp, OTAs and minicamp practices.
"Sylvester is a big guy – has some quickness, very serious and very determined in his approach," Broncos Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said during rookie minicamp in May. "That is a pretty good way to begin – come in here humble, but definitely ready to work and kind of man-up and do his job. That part has been very impressive."
Defensive Line Coach Jeff Rodgers echoed Del Rio's thoughts about Williams' attitude in preparing for his first NFL season.
"He's a rookie and he's learning – he's doing everything that we ask him to do," Rodgers said during minicamp in June. "He's doing quite well right now getting ready for the season."
Williams was dynamically disruptive at North Carolina, demonstrating a blend of run-stopping and pass-rushing ability.
He recorded 20.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in his two-year career with the Tar Heels – including 13.5 tackles for loss in his senior season – and was named a First-Team All-American by Pro Football Weekly in 2012.
He also earned Honorable Mention Junior College All-American honors after his sophomore season at Coffeyville Community College, when he logged 12.5 tackles for loss and blocked five kicks.
Williams will join veterans Kevin Vickerson, Terrance Knighton, Mitch Unrein and others in competing for spots in the Broncos' defensive tackle rotation.
"(Williams) is a very explosive and powerful kid. He's smart – he's picked up the playbook pretty quickly during minicamp and OTAs," Unrein said during minicamp in June.