Former defensive coordinator and now current Denver Broncos Vance Joseph had been eyeing their eventual fifth overall pick, Bradley Chubb, since at least February according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.
The Broncos were over the moon pleased to get Bradley Chubb, as evidenced by the visceral reaction in the war room when Denzel Ward came off the board at 4. As far back as February, Vance Joseph was drawing up ways that he’d use Chubb in tandem with fellow edge rushers Von Miller, Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett. It just never seem realistic that Chubb would get to Denver at 5. Until he did.
The Broncos actual defensive coordinator, Joe Woods, will likely be trading notes with Joseph from now until to training camp as they look for ways to exploit the wealth of talent the team now possesses at the edge position.
Their ability to get creative could be the difference between generating the kind of consistent pressure this defense hasn’t produced since 2015 and generating a string of “almost got there’s.”
Working with defensive fronts and getting creative is something Joseph has some experience with. Super star, Ndamukong Suh who played under Vance Jospeh in Miami said this about him when he left for Denver:
“I think I learned a lot from him, just in regards to how he views putting the defensive line and the back seven together, and the front seven and the back four together. I think he’s an excellent coach,” Suh said Wednesday, according to a quote sheet released by the team. “They are getting an elite guy that understands defense and understands how things work together, and working with a lot of different pieces and puzzles. We probably had a new lineup every single week this past season, and he’s a guy that knows how to adjust and adapt.”
Suh's vote of confidence bodes well for Chubb and the Broncos.
The irony here is that Breer also noted that all of the Broncos top executives had quarterbacks at the top of their boards.
We’ve mentioned there was Baker Mayfield love in the Broncos facility—consultant Gary Kubiak and scouting chief Matt Russell were the names I heard connected to him. But I was sure to maintain this ultimately was up to one man, and that was John Elway. And my understanding now is the one quarterback who Elway would have had a hard time passing on was USC’s Sam Darnold.
With both quarterbacks the big three loved off the board early, the player at the top of Joseph’s board was right there for taking. And based on Von Miller’s reaction to the drafting of Chubb, Joseph wasn’t the only one with Bradley Chubb at the top of their boards on draft day.
It’s going to be fun to watch this unfold leading up to Week 1 of the 2018 regular season.