Broncos stars Justin Simmons and Bradley Chubb will finally make their much-deserved Pro Bowl debuts. Both have incredibly high levels of both character and talent, and appear to be foundational blocks of the team’s defense for the next five years at least.

However, despite that amazing success and incredibly bright future, there’s still a lot of consternation regarding the two Denver stars. “Is Simmons really worth being the highest-paid safety in the league” and “Should the Broncos have taken Josh Allen over Chubb” are common debate topics in Broncos Country.

With that in mind, let’s examine those topics, and try to find the answer.

Should Justin Simmons be the league’s highest-paid safety?

The NFL has righted their wrong from last season when Simmons was snubbed, by including him this year.

Not only should Simmons be in the Pro Bowl conversation, but he should once again be in the All-pro conversation. After a bumpy start to the year, Simmons hit his stride and solidified his position as one of the league’s elite free safeties.

Truly, his only competition for that title on the field is Steelers’ star Minkah Fitzpatrick.

He can do it all. He ranks among the league’s five best safeties in both overall grade and coverage grade, while ranking in the top-10 in both run-defense grade and tackling grade. He’s also tied for second among all safeties in interceptions.

And of course those stats don’t even factor in Simmons’ incredible off-the-field contributions. For the second-consecutive season, Simmons will be the Broncos’ representative for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Also this season, Simmons became the first player to ever win the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award, an award the members of Denver media give to a Broncos player, three times.

Some will debate about whether a safety can be worth $17 million annually, but if any safety can be worth that big price tag, it’s Justin Simmons. Alongside Fitzpatrick, he’s one of the two best ball-hawking safeties in football, but he’s a much more effective run defender than Fitzpatrick, and his off-field achievements are much greater. Which is impressive considering Fitzpatrick is a strong leader and charitable player in his own right.

Long story short, PAY THAT MAN.

Should the Broncos have drafted Josh Allen instead of Bradley Chubb?

The Broncos made an incredible selection when they took Bradley Chubb in the top 5, and it’s honestly a shame that selection has been overshadowed by the controversial decision to pass on Josh Allen.

First though, let’s give Chubb his due.

Chubb has been a phenomenal player at one of the two-most important positions not named quarterback. As a rookie, he nearly set the regular-season rookie sack record, tallying 12. Then this season, he made his first career Pro Bowl while returning from a torn ACL.

He got off to a slow start in 2020, generating just five pressures and zero sacks through the first three weeks, as one would expect from a player recovering from a devastating injury like an ACL tear.

From that point on though, he was unstoppable, racking up 7.5 sacks and 25 pressures over the 10 games since.

The exciting part is that next year should be even better, as Chubb will have a full off-season and won’t have to recover from a debilitating injury.

Some Broncos fans are still upset the team didn’t take Allen with that fifth-overall selection in 2018, but that perspective greatly simplifies a complex situation. Allen is one of the rawest first-round quarterback prospects we’ve seen in the last decade. Many thought he was unfixable, and with good reason, as he looked unfixable through his first two seasons in the league.

Then suddenly after two full seasons in the league, Allen made an inexplicable and unprecedented leap in efficiency. His 16 percent leap in completion percentage over a two-year span, is something we’ve never seen before, and aren’t likely to see again for a long time.

So how did Allen pull it off? His coaching was consistent and it also came at a high level. Sean McDermott is one of the league’s best head coaches, and his offensive coordinator Brian Dabol one of the hottest head coaching candidates around.

If Allen had gone to the Broncos, he would have received coaching from Vance Joseph and Bill Musgrave. Joseph is notorious for not being able to develop raw athletes, like DeMarcus Walker with the Broncos and Isaiah Simmons now with the Cardinals. Musgrave meanwhile is coordinating the offense for the California Golden Bears, who finished with the Pac-12’s 2nd-worst scoring offense.

Somehow I don’t think Josh Allen would have become Josh Allen in that scenario.

Broncos Country has to realize that Bradley Chubb was the right pick for their team. Of course you would trade a star edge-rusher for a superstar quarterback, but Allen would have never become a superstar in Denver. It’s a minor miracle he became one Buffalo.