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2018 Broncos OTA’s: The pass rush is beginning to assert itself in OTA’s

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Bradley Chubb is beginning to show the Denver Broncos why he was worth the fifth-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

NFL: Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos continued their OTA program on Tuesday. There’s still no pads, but a few players are beginning to show they can play without contact. The biggest impact player was rookie first round pick, Bradley Chubb, who disrupted Case Keenum on multiple occasions.

Here were some of the more important highlights of Tuesday’s practice session.

Injured/Limited

There was a scary moment in practice today as reserve linebacker Deiontrez Mount was carted off the field in what looked like a lower leg injury. It turned out to be an ankle sprain and the team is optimistic he’ll be back out there soon enough.

Two other players were held out of practice today. Defensive lineman Clinton McDonald continues to nurse a shoulder injury and cornerback Bradley Roby was excused with an illness. Interior guard Ronald Leary was also held out due to inflammation in the knee. Max Garcia and Menelik Watson competed for reps at Leary’s position. Tackle Jared Veldheer, tight end Troy Fumagalli, and wide receiver Jordan Taylor were all held out of practice as well.

Bradley Chubb is flashing some pass rushing skills

According to Andrew Mason of DenverBroncos.com, Bradley Chubb exploded through the line to generate pressure on two of the first three plays in practice. That’s kind of dominance one should expect from a player drafted in the top five.

Von Miller sees a lot of himself in Chubb as the two have begun to establish the chemistry they’ll need to be a dominant duo in the NFL.

“He’s great”, Miller said of Chubb on Tuesday. “He reminds me of myself. He texts me late at night. Texts me at 3 o’clock in the morning. I’m up (laughing). I’m all for it. It’s good, it’s some of the same stuff I saw—it’s some of the same stuff that I was doing with DeMarcus [Ware]. So, it’s cool. It’s cool to pay it forward and tell him some of the same stuff that DeMarcus told me and Elvis [Dumervil] told me. It’s cool.”

That’s the kind of stuff you love to hear about as a fan. Chubb has the right attitude and drive to be great in this league. He also has no better teacher than one of the all-time greats in Von Miller. It is truly the perfect situation for the first-year edge rusher.

Paxton Lynch has a grip on the No. 2 spot

For now.

The former first-round pick has looked great in OTA’s, but he looked great in OTA’s last year too. Head coach Vance Joseph was quick to point out and clarify some of his earlier comments about Lynch relaxing back there.

“I’ve been proud of Paxton,” Joseph said of Lynch on Tuesday. “Paxton’s worked hard, he’s not relaxing. So you guys know, he’s not relaxing (laughing). He’s competing, so he’s not relaxing. He’s competing. He wants to be a great player. He’s a young player that’s getting better and better every single day. I was with Alex Smith in his third year, and it wasn’t pretty. But Alex now, you’d take Alex, right? He just needs time to work on his craft. He’s obviously a rare talent, again, 6-5 and a big arm. He’s a rare talent. He just needs time to play. Once he plays, he’ll be fine.”

Lynch connected with Jake Butt in the end zone for a touchdown strike. The pass was caught in traffic and was a well-placed ball and an even better catch by Butt.

As good as Lynch was out there, Chad Kelly made the bigger ‘wow’ plays of the session if you go by the reports from the local media. Kelly his rookie Courtland Sutton on a post route and also fellow rookie DaeSean Hamilton on a deep strike.

Jake Butt has looked good so far

The aforementioned touchdown grab was nice, but Jake Butt still appears to be behind Jeff Heuerman on the depth chart and that likely won’t change in OTA’s. However, so far he has looked like a steal in the fifth round now that he is fully healthy and recovered from his torn ACL.

“That’s just why I’m trying to stay after it right now,” Butt said. “For me, every rep counts. Being a year down, I’ve got to do double time to try and make up for lost time. I’m trying to build chemistry with these quarterbacks, build chemistry with my teammates and prove to them that I can be a part of this offense this year.”

If he continues to get open for some big plays, especially in the red zone, Heuerman is going to have his work cut out for him in training camp.

Recaps

Broncos OTA observations: Bradley Chubb steps up
The work of Chubb and Von Miller highlighted a day on which the defense generated plenty of pressure.

9news.com | Paxton Lynch sharp in Broncos' OTA practice
With 11 defensive guys running around, Lynch found the open receiver and threw the ball accurately during OTA practice Tuesday.

Broncos OTA report: Snapshots of start of second week of OTAs – Denver Post
The Broncos were back on the field today for the second week of OTAs.

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