Midseason rookie rankings: Baker Mayfield gains on Derwin James (Jeff Legwold, ESPN)
5. LB Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos
Chubb leads the Broncos' pass-rushers in snaps played and has been on the field over 75 percent of the defense's total plays thus far this season. He has 6.5 sacks in his last four games and is becoming an increasingly bigger problem for offenses trying to do whatever they can to keep Von Miller away from their quarterbacks.After a slow start, Bradley Chubb has proved to be the ideal pass-rushing bookend to Von Miller in Denver.
Center Connor McGovern leads new-look Broncos offensive line (Kyle Fredrickson, Denver Post)
"Matt is like a coach on the field, so you can't replace that," coach Vance Joseph said. "He is brilliant in protections. You won't replace Matt's football IQ or his play, but we have to adjust to do what's best for the players that are going to play in his place. … My comfort (with McGovern) physically at least is fine. It's just the mental part of being a center in this league that's different. It's like being a quarterback. That part he has to obviously study and get ready to conquer."
The good news? Paradis has mentored McGovern dating back to 2016 when Denver selected McGovern with a fifth-round draft pick. The linemates have become good friends.
"I'm always in the film room watching with him," McGovern said. "It's a lot easier to figure schemes out if you have someone to bounce ideas off of. .. I just learn, and all that kind of stuff preparing has been a huge help. I'll keep going forward with it."
Rookie Phillip Lindsay rare bright spot for mistake-prone Broncos (Jeff Legwold, ESPN)
MVP: Linebacker Von Miller has had plenty of moments when he has looked every bit the perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate he is -- he had nine sacks after nine games and center Matt Paradis had consistently played at a high level until he fractured his right fibula against the Texans. But running back Phillip Lindsay is the pick to this point given he has done so much of the heavy lifting in the season's first half and has been one of the bright spots for a team that hasn't played close to even its own preseason expectations. After nine games Lindsay leads the team in rushing, is tied for fifth in catches and has been used as a punt and kickoff returner.