The first round of the NFL draft is in the books, and the Denver Broncos have selected Von Miller, a Texas A&M linebacker who some are calling the best pass-rusher in the draft. “Pure, blind speed is back in vogue on the Denver defense,” writes the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla. Miller’s selection was somewhat of a surprise—many expected the Broncos to pick defensive lineman Marcell Dareus—but Denver couldn’t pass on Miller’s explosive pass-rush and swiftness (Bleacher Report). Miller says he’s anxious to prove himself and thinks he and 2009 sack leader Elvis Dumervil will be a great pair (DenverBroncos.com).
Two University of Colorado players were also selected in the first round last night. Offensive lineman Nate Solder went 17th to the New England Patriots, and cornerback Jimmy Smith went 27th to the Baltimore Ravens (NFL.com).
The rookies will head to their respective teams in the coming days and start working with the veterans, who received permission to return to team facilities and work out this morning (Associated Press). Owners had locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired seven weeks ago and negotiations between the player’s union and the league broke down. The two sides are fighting over how to split the estimated $9 billion pie the NFL generates each year, and that fight isn’t going to end any time soon. The league is trying to restore the lockout as soon as possible.