NFL Network’s annual list of the league’s top 100 players as voted on by their peers began airing Monday, and already two young Broncos have already seen their names called.
On Tuesday’s episode, showcasing spots 90-81, Bradley Chubb got the nod at the 82nd spot. Phillip Lindsay followed him Thursday night, as he was named the league’s 68th best player and became the first ever undrafted rookie to make the list.
The rookies did their fair share to earn that honor, though. Chubb recorded the second-most sacks ever by a rookie (12 sacks), falling just short of Jevon Kearse‘s record (14 sacks). And Lindsay, the Colorado native, rushed for over 1,000 yards and averaged more than five yards per carry in his first season, despite missing time and getting a limited number of touches.
“He took the starting role, and that was the birth of the ‘Colorado Kid,'” Von Miller said in regards to Lindsay on the show. “My very first impressions of [Phillip Lindsay] were just phenomenol. ‘We need a guy like this on offense. We need a guy like this!'”
More flattering than Miller’s words though, may have been those from some his 49ers opponents last season. “He runs like he’s 6’1″, 230 [pounds], like he runs with that attitude like he’s a bigger back,” said linebacker and team-leader in tackles Fred Warner.
“I didn’t know about him until this year, but he woke up and opened a lot of people’s eyes,” added San Francisco defensive end Ronald Blair. “He’ll be right at arms length, and the next thing you know, he’s gone. You see it time and time again. If you don’t have an edge on your defense, he’s gonna tear it apart.”
Although he wasn’t ranked as high as Lindsay, Chubb got a healthy dosing of praise as well.
Von Miller, the Batman to Chubb’s robin said, “He’s a great talent. I was there, on the field with him, for every single sack that he got. He’s a big time rusher on the other side. He definitely takes some of the pressure off of me.”
Opposing running back Melvin Gordon went even further saying, “I honestly feel he should’ve been to the Pro Bowl this year. He’s definitely a phenomenol player, man, and he’s gonna be a problem.”
Of course Chubb and Lindsay should be jumping for joy, but general manager John Elway should be patting himself on the back right about now for his stellar 2018 draft class, as only one other rookie has been named to the list so far (Leighton Vander Esch, 74th).