After a terrible 2017 season, the Broncos were hopeful a top 5 pick would help change the fate of a franchise desperate to resemble something close to their most recent SB team. Their QB situation was beyond questionable and the offensive line was getting worse by the year. So, the thought was that they’d go offense with that 5th pick but instead chose the edge rusher from North Carolina State, Bradley Chubb. It was a good move at the time, honestly. Shaq Barret was solid but not thought to be elite while Shane Ray had yet to meet the expectations that go with being a middle 1st round pick. It was considered a build on what was already a solid unit and perhaps an opportunity to find a once in a lifetime type player. Fast forward through Chubb’s rookie season where he had 12 sacks and Elway’s decision to choose the “best player available” move rather than the “draft for need” strategy was already proving to be a success. The QB that went soon after Chubb was Wyoming’s Josh Allen. He was banged up for a good part of 2018 and even when he was on the field he still looked like a Mountain West qb and not one that had made the transition to the NFL. The guard Denver ignored, Quenton Nelson, was next to perfect last season but it’s always tough to justify an o-linemen going in the top 5. So it was a move most Broncos fans either believed in, or eventually came around to after a promising rookie campaign. But last year is long gone and we’re already 2 games into the 2019 season.
Here’s some deep thinking from a scattered mind when it comes to players surrounding Bradley Chubb pick:
1st round QB’s taken after Bradley Chubb: Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson. NOTE: Rosen, through 2, is not a starting QB.
1st round linemen taken after Bradley Chubb: Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey, Kolton Miller, Frank Ragnow, Billy Price and Isaiah Wynn.
Shaq Barret now starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Interesting notes and stats through 2 games in 2019
Allen: 2-0 record-43/67(64%)- 2TD vs. 2 INT- 507 passing yards – 84.6 QBR – 59 rushing yards – 2 TD’s
Jackson: 2-0 record – 41/57 (71%) – 7 TD vs. 0 INT – 596 yards – 93.9 QBR – 126 rushing yards
Nelson is considered a top 3 guard in the NFL.
McGlinchey was on the 2019 preseason top 12 in tackles.
Shaq Barret is the leagues leader in sacks with 4.
Bradley Chubb has 0 sacks, 2 QB hits and is a part of the only defense in the league without a sack.
It’s premature to say that the Chubb pick was a failure compared to Allen, Jackson and Nelson. It’s also unfair to say letting Barrett walk was a bad move; he wanted to be a starter and that wasn’t going to happen behind Chubb and future hall of famer Von Miller. It’s still more than reasonable to believe Chubb is a far better pass rusher than Barrett even with the 2019 sack count favoring the former CSU Ram. However, is it a coincidence that there seems to be an expanding list of guys surrounding that #5 pick that are improving more every day? The guys drafted after Chubb are excelling for the most part and the player Chubb replaced is thriving as a Buc.
Like it or not, Bradley Chubb is under a microscope; not only from a fan’s point of view but from the front office. If the “ones that got away” continue to shine in 2019 and Chubb continues to struggle, Denver will likely miss out on the playoffs for a 4th year in a row and Mr. Elway will have yet another draft decision, or series of decisions, haunt him.