Denver Broncos: Top 15 first-round draft picks of all time

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D.J. Williams, Denver Broncos

D.J. Williams, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

15

D.J. Williams

LB, Miami Hurricanes, 2004 (No. 17)

Realistically, D.J. Williams was never anything special for the Broncos. Although he was an outstanding starter for the nine years he was in town, the former No. 17 overall pick was always a productive, reliable piece of the Denver defense.

Just look at these numbers: through nine campaigns, he amassed 824 total tackles, 20.5 sacks and 12 forced fumbles. His 2007 effort was the highlight of his stay with the club, during which he racked up 141 total tackles to lead the NFL.

His time in Denver wasn’t always perfect. He had a couple run-ins with the law that certainly shed ugly light on what he did on the field. When all was said and done, though, we have to see this from a neutral point of view. Williams turned out better than most first-round picks, proving to be a quality linebacker who nearly walked away with the 2004 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Williams may never have earned a Pro Bowl nod or won any major awards, but he was one of Denver’s key defensive playmakers throughout the early 2000s. He may have even been higher on this list if it wasn’t for the off-field issues that plagued him throughout his NFL career.

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