Top 5 Pass Rushers: No.2 – Von Miller

The 2013 Denver Broncos, barring any serious injuries, will begin the new season as Super Bowl contenders largely due to key offseason upgrades on both sides of the ball. When you add the acquisition of Wes Welker to an already solid receiving core, Peyton Manning regaining his swag last year, and key additions to the offensive line, you have an offense capable of dropping 40 on any given Sunday. This is exactly why LB Von Miller will need to be the key to the Broncos success this season.

The 6’3, 250-pound Miller, has a devastating combination of strength and speed, which impacts each game tremendously. He’s just as good at defending the run, as he is rushing the passer. Quarterbacks have to be aware of him at all times and coaches have to adjust their personnel to neutralize his strengths. Front offices draft offensive linemen with Miller in mind. The kid is simply that haunting. Problem is, there are very few players that can match him.

The two-time Pro Bowler is primed for his best season yet, and that's saying a lot for a guy with 30 sacks under his belt. To put that into historical context, there have only been three players to record 30 or more sacks in their first two seasons since 1982 — their names are Reggie White, Derrick Thomas and Aldon Smith. That’s exceptional company.

The New England Patriots have proved over the last few seasons that you cannot win simply with a high-powered offense. Denver proved last year just how poor defense can cost you games, as they were one “Mile High Miracle” away from defeating the eventual Super Bowl champs. The Broncos scored 35 points that game, a number that usually produces wins, and yet still came up short. Miller will enter his third professional season as the leader of the defense, and when you confidently make bold statements such as this, then you better come prepared to back them up. The Broncos can go only as far as he can take them.