The Denver Broncos have added the most complete edge-rushing prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft by selecting North Carolina State edge Bradley Chubb with the No. 5 pick in round first round.
Chubb was considered the top defensive prospect on most boards, but general uncertainty about what quarterback-needy teams might do early left some confusion about where he might fall on Thursday night.
2018 NFL Draft: Bradley Chubb taken by the Denver Broncos
Chubb provides above-average size and athleticism both as a 3-4 outside linebacker and as a 4-3 defensive end, giving him the true versatility to be a game-wrecker in any scheme.
At 6-foot-4 and 269 pounds, he looks like a hand-on-the-ground defensive end (and could even kick inside on occasion in a 3-4 during obvious passing situations), but his 4.65-second 40-yard dash and 36-inch vertical indicate he can run and cover if needed, too.
However, make no mistake, he’s at his best when he’s being asked to rush the passer. Chubb recorded 25 sacks and 54.5 tackles for loss in his final three seasons with the Wolfpack and also registered a total of 198 tackles while adding an interception, 4 pass deflections, a fumble recovery and 6 forced fumbles.
And that elite college production (award-winning) wasn’t empty by any means. Talent evaluators think he is thick enough to set and hold the edge while also being athletic enough to run a tight arc to the quarterback.
“Chubb possesses high-end physical traits, years of production and the ability to play in a variety of positions in both odd and even fronts,” NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in his draft profile. “Chubb returned to school last year and turned areas of improvement into areas of strength.
“His motor and athletic ability cause him to jump off the tape snap after snap and his play attributes and production should translate quickly as a pro. Chubb should be an early pick, early starter and multi-time Pro Bowler.”
His game isn’t without flaw. He can use his hands a little more effectively, but he’s also far from undisciplined with his placement and specialized coaching could help him improve quickly.
Ultimately, Chubb has all the trappings of becoming a Day One starter and eventual All-Pro contender. Making him one of the safest selections in the 2018 NFL Draft.
With the Denver Broncos, he joins a defense that was one of the best units two years ago when the franchise won Super Bowl 50. The Broncos defense still played at a high level last season, finishing third in total yards allowed. Chubb can have an immediate impact next season, helping the Broncos pass rush, playing with linebacker Von Miller.
The Broncos finished 22nd in the league last season with 33.0 sacks.