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The Broncos are turning back the clock to recreate former glory

Zac Stevens Avatar
April 27, 2018

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — There’s no question John Elway values the quarterback position. On Thursday night, however, he made a convincing argument he values one position even more.

With top quarterback prospects Josh Rosen and Josh Allen available for the picking, Elway turned his back to the most important position in sports, instead selecting defensive end Bradley Chubb with the No. 5 overall pick, making the argument even more convincing No. 7 values one position more than quarterbacks.

While Chubb will officially be labeled an outside linebacker, he can still play down on the line. In the end, it doesn’t really matter, though, he’s a pass rusher.

“I’m excited to get to work with guys like Von [Miller] and Shane [Ray],” Chubb said moments after being selected by the Broncos.

This marked the third time Elway selected a pass rusher in the first round in his seven first-round selections, despite having three talented pass rushers already on the team.

“You can never have enough pass rushers,” Elway said once again after selecting another pass rusher in the top five. “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.”

The last time Elway made this commitment was when he drafted Ray with the 23rd overall pick in 2015. At that time, Elway was in a similar position having Miller, Barrett and DeMarcus Ware already in his arsenal.

In the ensuing season, with those four pass rushers, the Broncos went on to win Super Bowl 50, primarily on the back of their dominant defense, led by their pass rush. Last season, however, their pass rush finished in the bottom third of the league in sacks.

“Having three or four rushers is a good thing,” head coach Vance Joseph said. “You have to have more than two rushers. Having four is always a good thing.”

Now, with two top-five pass rushers on the squad, the goal is back to where it was in the championship season.

“We have to make sure that we have the most dangerous pass rush in the NFL,” the brand new 6-foot-4, 269-pound Bronco said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and I can’t wait.”

On the opposite side of Miller, Chubb—who Denver had labeled as the best pass rusher and defensive player in the draft—is expected to come in and “obviously” compete for a starting job immediately, according to the head coach.

“I expect to come in and contribute right away. If that’s starting or coming off the sideline, I’m going to contribute either way,” the North Carolina State product said with conviction. “The end goal for me is definitely for me to be a starter. Like I said, I’m ready to contribute in any way I can.”

Three seasons ago, the Broncos brought home their third Lombardi Trophy on the back of the league’s best pass rush. In a surprising turn of events, the Broncos made a step to recreate that formula on Thursday.


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