Derek Wolfe (95) during training camp at the Broncos training facility. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

Broncos' Young Defensive Linemen Sylvester Williams, Derek Wolfe Have Huge Roles

Sylvester Williams (92) speaks to the local media following rookie minicamp at the Broncos training facility. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

There’s always added pressure for any team’s No. 1 draft pick. There’s the pressure to perform well immediately. There’s the pressure to forgo the mistake portion of learning. There’s the pressure to be “worth” that pick.

For Broncos rookie and 28th overall pick in the 2013 draft, defensive tackle Sylvester Williams is stepping right into the line of fire. He’s starting on the defensive line to kick off the 2013 season against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

“For me it’s the biggest game of the year because it’s the next one up,” Williams said. “That’s how I approach every game. At this point it’s the biggest one of my life. At this point it’s the most important thing in my life.”

Williams said that he didn’t feel he had a great preseason. The only time he got on the stat sheet was in the final preseason game against the Cardinals when he had three tackles.

“I had an up-and-down preseason,” Williams said. “I wasn’t happy with it at all, but I feel like I ended it on a good note and I’m looking forward to starting the season and continuing to grow as a player.”

Remember, Williams played just one year of football in high school and worked in a radiator factory before going to a Kansas community college and then transferring to North Carolina. The 6’2,” 313-pound tackle is no stranger to hard work or transitions.

Last year’s first draft pick for the Broncos was second round selection Derek Wolfe. He finished his rookie year with six sacks. Both Williams and Wolfe will be looked upon to be huge run stoppers and quarterback pressuring machines, particularly in the team’s first six games as Von Miller serves his suspension.

“I’m smarter,” Wolfe said. “I’m more willing to go outside of the box and do things I’m not comfortable doing to make plays. To not be so stiff and not be like a robot. I’m more open to doing new things and trying new moves.”

As Williams transitions into the NFL and Wolfe glides into his second year, it’s clear the Broncos will be looking to their younger guys on defense (ahem, Chris Harris, Tony Carter, Rahim Moore, Duke Ihenacho).

Who says the draft doesn’t mean anything right away?

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