Broncos choose Miller with second pick
ENGLEWOOD — The Denver Broncos will have quite a 1-2 pass-rushing punch as they try to climb back into the playoff picture after a five-year drought.
The Broncos selected Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, the premier pass-rusher in this year’s draft, with the second overall pick Thursday night to help fix the league’s leakiest defense.
They’ll team the Aggies’ athletic playmaker with 2009 NFL sacks king Elvis Dumervil, who missed all of last season with a torn chest muscle a year after leading the league with 17 sacks.
“I feel much better, obviously, just injecting Elvis back into the defense, then (with) the addition of Von Miller,” new coach John Fox said. “We still have a lot of moving parts to get fixed, but I think we made a good step today to help our cause.”
The Broncos sorely need defensive tackles, but Fox said he won’t reach for one Friday and might even wait to address that need in free agency, whenever that arrives.
Plugging the holes in Denver’s rush defense took a back seat to finding a complement to Dumervil.
“Oh man. I know a lot about Elvis,” Miller said. “When I was in high school, it was people saying that it was because of Elvis Dumervil, who opened it up for smaller guys to come off the edge. I know a lot about Elvis Dumervil and I’m excited that he’s back, injury-free. I’m glad to be a teammate.”
John Elway gushed over Miller leading up to the draft, saying the dominant senior is “a guy that when you turn on the film, you don’t even have to know what number he is. ... He’s a guy that’s all over the field.”
And they’ll plan to play him all over in Denver’s defense and on every down if they can.
“It’s crucial in this league to be able to rush the passer and Von adds that dimension to our defense,” Fox said. “He’s also able to drop back into pass coverage. There’s no doubt his versatility is going to make us a better football team.”
Coming off the worst season in their 51-year history, the Broncos’ top priority is fixing a defense that gave up a whopping 471 points last year.