Both New York teams passed on Bradley Chubb and the Cleveland Browns did twice but the N.C. State defensive end landed in an ideal spot on Thursday night in the first round of the NFL draft.
The Denver Broncos took Chubb with the fifth overall pick and will pair him with All-Pro defensive end Von Miller.
“Being able to learn from the best, I feel like it’s going to be one of the best things ever,” Chubb said on the NFL Network’s broadcast of the draft.
Miller, a six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl 50 MVP, had lobbied for the Broncos to take Chubb before the draft. He was ecstatic, judging by his reaction on Twitter, the team followed his advice on Thursday night.
Denver president John Elway was pleased the other teams decided to pass up on Chubb.
"We really wanted Bradley Chubb and are thrilled to make him a Denver Bronco," Elway tweeted on Thursday night. "Bradley's the best defensive player in the draft. He can rush the passer, is a hard worker and will be a great fit, complementing Von, Shane (Ray) & Shaq (Barrett)!"
Chubb, the 2017 ACC defensive player of the year, is the first N.C. State player taken in the first round since a trio went in 2006. Defensive end Mario Williams was the No. 1 pick in that draft. Chubb wore Williams’ No. 9 jersey at N.C. State the past two seasons and broke Williams’ school records for sacks (26) and tackles for loss (60).
The Browns, with the first and fourth picks, went with a quarterback (Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield) and a defensive player, just not Chubb — who was projected as the top defensive player in the draft.
The Browns took Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the No. 4 pick while both the Giants (Penn State RB Saquon Barkley) and Jets (USC quarterback Sam Darnold) went with offense.
Chubb was actually surprised the Broncos took him. He said in an interview with the team's web site that he had only talked with Denver once — a the combine — before the draft.
"Like they say, you talk to the team you’re going to the least," Chubb said. "It was definitely was a surprise, yeah."
Chubb is the 16th first-round pick in N.C. State’s history and sixth since 2000. The 6-4, 270-pound edge rusher led the Wolfpack to a 9-4 season and top-25 finish. He had 10 sacks and 26 tackles for loss and won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defender.