ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --When you look at the pick of Bradley Chubb, rewind to 2011, when the Broncos took Von Miller with their last top-10 draft selection.
Miller did not seem to be a perfect fit for the Broncos' 4-3 scheme at the time. The Broncos had to create a hybrid role for him, utilizing him as a stand-up strong-side linebacker in the team's base defense and as a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end in pass-rush sub packages.
But picking the best defensive player in that draft has paid rich dividends for seven seasons, giving the Broncos a dominant, iconic, franchise-defining defender. The Broncos hope that is the case again with Chubb, whose unique blend of size (269 pounds) and speed (4.65 seconds) shatters the mold for 3-4 outside linebackers.
It's "possible" that Chubb could go inside in pass-rush sub packages, Head Coach Vance Joseph noted, but his home will be on the edge. And while his frame is bulkier than that of most 3-4 outside linebackers, Chubb has managed to keep his quickness from his days as a lighter outside linebacker at North Carolina State.
"He's going to be an outside linebacker," Joseph said. "We have a plan for him as an outside 'backer, so we're excited."
Chubb's availability at No. 5 was a pleasant surprise for the Broncos, as President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway simulated "zero" mock drafts among the football-operations staff that had Chubb falling to the No. 5 pick.
That made the value of Chubb right -- and better than trading down.
"We didn't trade because Bradley was there, but we did have some options," Elway said. "With Bradley falling to us, we felt that was our best option."
A premium pick demands a player at a premium position. And if you're not going to get a quarterback at No. 5, the best option was the player who can have the most profound effect on wrecking the intentions of opposing quarterbacks.
It worked seven years ago, and the Broncos expect it to work again.
"The pass rush is going to be great," linebacker Brandon Marshall told Orange and Blue 760 during the first round Thursday. "Those guys [in the linebacking corps and secondary] won't have to cover long."