It's tempting to call the Denver Broncos' pickup of North Carolina State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb with the number-five pick in the 2018 NFL Draft as an example of dumb luck, and in a way, it was. But it's more appropriate to say Chubb wound up in orange and blue thanks to the actions of idiots. And those idiots are the people who run the Cleveland Browns.
Three years back, we listed 32 reasons why Cleveland Browns fans hate the Broncos — with 1987's "The Drive," in which John Elway led his squad on a 98-yard march that slowly, methodically tore the hearts from the chest of everyone living in the Mistake on the Lake, appearing prominently. But in the years since then, the Browns have done way more damage to themselves than Elway and company ever did, making one personnel gaffe after another en route to a level of mediocrity that's awesome to behold.
The Browns' putridness resulted this year in the franchise's having the number-one and number-four picks in the draft — and for the first selection, the brain trust made the most Cleveland of all choices, going with Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, an egomaniacal dipshit who most closely resembles Johnny Manziel, who washed out for the Browns a couple of years ago.
The next two teams on the board did exactly as expected: The New York Giants anointed Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and the New York Jets, using a selection obtained from the Indianapolis Colts, brought aboard USC quarterback Sam Darnold.
That put the Browns back on the clock, and everyone with a working brain expected them to take Chubb, who experts aplenty saw as the top defensive player available, and a handful identified as the best prospect, period. Had Cleveland done so, the Broncos would have been left to settle on Josh Allen or Josh Rosen, the other two quarterbacks at the head of the class, or trade down in exchange for additional, but lower, picks.
But then the Browns did what the Browns do: They refused to make the smart move, and instead went with Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward, who may not even have been the best player at his position (there's debate about that) and certainly is nowhere near the talent that Chubb is.
At that point, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Broncos were prepared to swap the number-five pick with Buffalo for the Bills' two first-round slots, at twelve and 22 respectively. But quicker than you can say, "Jesus Christ, the Browns screwed themselves again!," Elway changed course and dialed Chubb's number.
Here's the hilarious reaction of Von Miller to the move:
Broncos loyalists everywhere had similar reactions.
Over the past couple of seasons, the departure of DeMarcus Ware and Malik Jackson, as well as injuries that depleted Shane Ray and Derek Wolfe, meant that opposing teams could key on Miller, preventing him from wreaking as much havoc as he did in Super Bowl 50, when he was named the game's MVP.
Now, Miller and Chubb will be able to line up on opposite sides and blitzkrieg the holy hell out of QBs — and if Ray and Wolfe can stay healthy, the effect could well be a return to the form the Denver D displayed during the outfit's championship run.
The draft continues tonight and again on Saturday (at Casa Bonita!), and a lot of holes still need to be filled, especially on offense, where new quarterback Case Keenum needs help at running back, wide receiver and the line, where Garett Bolles, the top pick last year, will have to improve greatly if he wants to avoid winding up on our list of the Broncos' worst first-round draft choices of all-time.
For now, though, we're over the moon at the addition of Bradley Chubb — and eternally grateful that the Cleveland Browns' stoopidity streak remains intact.
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