Admitting the Broncos had zero - as in NOT A SINGLE ONE - draft boards with Bradley Chubb available for them at five, GM John Elway wasn’t about to pass up his chance at a premiere pass rusher.
“You can never have enough pass rushers,” he said after Thursday night’s fifth overall pick had been made. “He’ll be a great addition to the ones we already have, and so we’ll see if we can get after that quarterback a little bit.”
Just a little bit.
“His motor is as big as anybody’s in the draft. That’s definitely one of his biggest qualities, his motor, and also his strength,his ability to rush the passer and get in the end and whip around the edge,” Elway said. “He’s all football. He loves football, and he’s going to be a great influence on our football team because he’s that type of leader and has that kind of tenacity.”
Chubb, a defensive end out of NC State who posted double-digit sacks in his last two seasons with the Wolfpack, will become an outside linebacker in Denver’s 3-4 scheme.
But whatever his position title, neither Chubb, nor Elway nor Vance Joseph is worried about him fitting in the Broncos’ scheme.
“No he fits perfect. He’s a good football player. Obviously, a great rusher, also he’s a good player versus the run game,” Joseph said. “We have a plan for him as an outside linebacker, so we’re excited.”
Joseph acknowledged that Chubb may rush from the inside, but the coach isn’t too worried about where his new pass rusher will be coming from - just where he ends up.
“Again, he is a great player. He fits in our system. Obviously, he can move inside on sub-downs and rush,” Joseph said, noting that Shane Ray, Von Miller and Shaq Barrett are also there to help. “We’ve got four big time rushers. How we use them is almost irrelevant. Having four rushers is always a special treat to have.”
Elway felt the same way.
“It’s good when you say, ‘You have all those rushers,’” he added. “I like to hear that.”
Chubb, whose nickname from his brother is “astronaut,” certainly does too.
“I see myself doing my thing. I’m excited to get to work with guys like Von and Shane,” Chubb said. “We have to make sure that we have the most dangerous pass rush in the NFL. I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and I can’t wait.”
Chubb also defended his versatility and ability to move to a 3-4.
“If you watch the film from last year, I did it a lot,” he said. “I stood up a lot, and I was in three-point stance a lot. I’m used to both things, and I’m ready to see where I fit.”
Retired defensive end Stephen White certainly had high praise for Chubb, who returned to NC State his senior season to improve his draft stock, in an article saying Chubb was “everything the Broncos could ask for in a pass rusher.”
“The whole time I was watching tape, I had to constantly keep reminding myself Bradley Chubb is listed at 6’4 and over 270 pounds. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, Broncos fans.
“Like, this dude showed the kind of quickness, bend, and athleticism normally reserved for much smaller guys. He looked so smooth turning the corner, so fast coming off the ball. At times he looked more like a basketball player on the field crossing fools up, rather than the hulking defensive end his height and weight would suggest.
“But, to be clear, there were plenty of plays where Chubb’s almost ideal size for an edge rusher was also very apparent, especially against the run. I saw him easily bench press tight ends back when he lined up in a six-technique. I also saw plenty of times where he would knock an offensive tackle back and easily shed him to make a play on the ball carrier. His combination of athleticism and power is just about unfair.”
That will bode well for the rookie as he pairs up with the NFL’s best pass rusher and aims to help Miller get back to threatening quarterbacks he hasn’t been able to do since DeMarcus Ware retired.
“I expect to come in and contribute right away,” Chubb said. “If that’s starting or coming off the sideline, I’m going to contribute either way. The end goal for me is definitely for me to be a starter.”