Broncos select UNC DT Sylvester Williams 28th overall

After years of unmet expectations that the Broncos would take a defensive tackle atop their draft classes, they finally did so on Thursday night, when it was least anticipated. Denver went with a former reclamation project at #28, stealing North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams.

Williams played only one year of high school ball, and when no colleges came calling on the recruiting trail, he assumed his career had come to an end. So he traded the gridiron for working in a factory making radiator parts for trucks.

Eventually, Sly decided to take one more crack at football at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, where he was an honorable mention Juco All-American in his second year.

That performance helped him land with the Tar Heels in January of 2011, and he ended up with 8.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss during two seasons at North Carolina.

At the combine, Williams measured in at 6-3 and 313 pounds, ran a 5.03-second forty, and put up 27 reps on the bench press.

Said John Elway about the selection of Williams:

A defensive tackle has been a need for us for a long, long time. 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.

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Updated 4/27/13 11:51am ET

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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