Dan Williams – Toledo Rockets, Denver Broncos Star Rookie
A newspaper article in 1996 proclaimed that the highlight of former Toledo Rockets defensive end Dan Williams career was the day that the Denver Broncos selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft.
The article in the Rocky Mountain News was written the day after Williams was released by the Broncos following four injury filled seasons. The newspaper proclaimed that day was the low point of his professional career.
The Broncos traded their first round pick and added a third round pick to the Cleveland Browns to move up three spots to pick Williams with the 11th overall. Williams was and still is the only Toledo product to ever be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. He was selected ahead of Robert Smith, Dana Stubblefield and Michael Strahan.
In three seasons with the Rockets, Williams recorded 256 tackles, 60 tackles for a loss, 28 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was a two-time All-MAC first-teamer.
However Williams’ first three seasons in the NFL were injury plagued , before finally becoming a starter in 1997.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, the highlight of Williams’ pro career ended up being the 1998 season. Williams latched on with Denver’s division rival the Kansas City Chiefs. Williams was instantly more productive in a Chiefs uniform than he ever was with Denver. During his first season in KC, he recorded a career high 10.5 sacks, which was 6.5 more than he recorded during his entire stay in Denver.
Williams continue to live up to his first round potential with the Chiefs over the next two seasons. He recorded five sacks in 1998 and 7.5 during his final season in the NFL in 1999. He also recovered five of his seven career fumble recoveries while in a Kansas City uniform.