KUSA – The Broncos’ first depth chart of the 2018 season was released Tuesday.
As 9News reported earlier, one mild surprise was rookie Bradley Chubb is starting ahead of Shane Ray at right outside linebacker. Ray is officially listed as Von Miller's backup with Shaq Barrett as Chubb's backup.
Ray had mostly been running with the first team base defense through the first two weeks of training camp, with Chubb lined up with the second team. Chubb was with the No. 1 defense in sub packages.
It's hardly a surprise Chubb has moved up as he was the No. 5 overall selection in this year's draft.
“It’s definitely something I’ve been working for, but I’m not done working yet,'' Chubb said. "I’m just going to try and keep striving for it and make sure I prove the coaches right.”
"We've been pleased with him, not just because of his physical abilities but his football IQ. He's smart. ... He's earned that right, right now.''
The idea behind the tweak with the depth chart could be about allowing Ray to flourish as a pure pass rusher in sub packages. The Broncos plan to use all four of their edge rushers: Miller, Barrett, Chubb and Ray. And there will be times when all four are used on the same defensive play in Denver’s speed package.
But with the 275-pound Chubb stout against the run and Ray playing with a brace around his iffy left wrist, it makes sense for the Broncos to start their No. 5 overall draft pick.
"I feel like it's coming well,'' Chubb said of his run-stopping work. "I feel like in college, I showed I could do both and I feel like out here I showed I could do both.''
The depth chart also lists Devontae Booker as the No. 1 running back and rookie Royce Freeman at No. 2 -- ahead of De'Angelo Henderson.
“I’m just going to continue to do my job and continue to be that guy to go out there and push those guys, just do my best every day to stay in that position,'' Booker said.
"For us the depth chart is a starting point,'' said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. "We'll get through the preseason and see where we stand. The depth chart is going to change probably 50 more times.Hopefully, right? We don't want to stay where we are. We've got major competition in a lot of areas so it should change some.''
Other notable depth chart listings:
*Undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay is the No. 1 kickoff returner. Second-year player Isaiah McKenzie is the No. 1 punt returner. Camp began with Brendan Langley as the No. 1 kick returner. Lindsay and seventh-round rookie are listed tied for fourth at running back.
*The second-string cornerback duo (behind Chris Harris Jr. and Bradley Roby) is Tramaine Brock and third-round rookie Isaac Yiadom, who is ahead of second-year players Brendan Langley and Marcus Rios.
*Former ThunderRidge High School standout and sixth-round rookie Sam Jones has been promoted from third-string center to No. 2, ahead of undrafted rookie Austin Schlottmann.
*Chad Kelly may have closed the gap on Paxton Lynch but he's still the No. 3 quarterback with Lynch at No. 2.
*As has been the case throughout the camp, Tim Patrick is the third-string receiver behind Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton at one spot,with River Cracraft third-string behind Demaryius Thomas and DaeSean Hamilton at another.