Tanner Lee

AFC Rumors: Chubb, Conklin, Jags, Jets

Recently hired to coach some of his former teammates, DeMarcus Ware will likely be tasked with the early development of Bradley Chubb. Ware said during an interview with the Talk of Fame podcast the Broncos‘ first-round pick can have the type of career he had. But the future Hall of Famer identified Chubb’s larger frame as a different element that will thrive alongside Von Miller.

Chubb is probably 6-4, 270,” Ware said during the interview. “He’s the guy who can come in and be that power guy and really help Von out. The attributes that he really brings to the game — stopping the run and being able to be that strong-side guy for Von — that’s what you need. (The Broncos) have that tag-team again.”

The N.C. State-honed edge defender is noticeably bigger than fellow Miller sidekicks Shaquil Barrett or Shane Ray, and weighs more than Ware did during his Denver years. Whether that’s an impediment to speed rushes remains to be seen, but Chubb will factor into the Broncos’ pass rush immediately — especially considering Ray has encountered more wrist trouble. Since the Broncos primarily align Miller opposite of opponents’ right tackles, Chubb will have plenty of speed-rush opportunities on the blind side where Ware once played.

Here’s the latest from the AFC:

  • Mike Vrabel expects all Titans to be ready for training camp, with the exception of Jack Conklin. The third-year right tackle tore an ACL in the team’s playoff loss to the Patriots and has not participated in offseason work. Vrabel mentioned the PUP list as a possibility to start camp, Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com notes. Wyatt adds that it’s too early to tell if Conklin will be ready for Tennessee’s regular-season opener.
  • The Jaguars look set at quarterback, despite fairly consistent scrutiny. Cody Kessler is positioned to back up Blake Bortles, John Reid of the Florida Times-Union writes, adding the only way he can foresee the defending AFC South champions signing a veteran passer will be due to a Bortles injury or Kessler being overwhelmed by the job. Bortles has been an oft-derided player during his time in north Florida, but the Jags just re-signed him to a three-year extension and did not make a serious investment in competition for the fifth-year QB this offseason. Kessler has fared well in the offseason, per Reid, who also envisions seventh-round rookie Tanner Lee being practice squad-bound.
  • Acquired via draft-weekend trade, Henry Anderson is in the running to replace Muhammad Wilkerson in the Jets‘ starting lineup. Todd Bowles said (via Brian Costello of the New York Post) the former Colts defensive end would be on the field when the team deploys a four-man front, which would mean an important assignment given how often nickel sets are utilized. The Jets also signed Courtney Upshaw recently and are planning to use third-round defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd as an end as well. Upshaw was a Ravens lineup regular from 2013-15 but settled in as a Falcons backup the past two seasons. Jettisoned by the Colts because of their impending move to a 4-3 look, Anderson started eight of the nine games he suited up for last year.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/10/18

Here are the rest of Thursday’s draft pick accords:

  • The Buccaneers signed one of their three second-round picks in cornerback M.J. Stewart (No. 53 overall), Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. They also agreed to terms with their final three picks — Kansas State safety Jordan Whitehead (Round 4, pick 117), Penn wide receiver Justin Watson (Round 5, pick 144) and Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy (Round 6, pick 202).
  • Five-sixths of this Falcons draft class is now signed. Atlanta agreed to a deal with third-round defensive tackle Deadrin Senat (No. 90 overall out of South Florida). After already signing four other selections, only first-rounder Calvin Ridley remains unsigned.
  • The Steelers signed one of the safeties they drafted last month in agreeing to terms with Penn State product Marcus Allen (Round 5, pick 148). Pittsburgh also signed Alabama defensive tackle Joshua Frazier (Round 7, pick 246).
  • The Jaguars came to terms with four of their seven draftees — the final four Jacksonville selected in this year’s draft. N.C. State tackle Will Richardson (Round 4, pick 129), Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (Round 6, pick 203), Wisconsin linebacker Leon Jacobs (Round 7, pick 230) and Mississippi State punter Logan Cooke (Round 7, pick 247) all signed their first Jags contracts Thursday. Cooke has a clear path toward the Jags’ punter job since the team released Brad Nortman two days after the draft.
  • Beginning their signings, the Titans agreed to deals with half of their four-man draft class. Tennessee signed Arizona cornerback Dane Cruikshank (Round 5, pick 152) and Washington State quarterback Luke Falk (Round 6, pick 199). The latter will attempt to develop behind Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert.
  • Following suit in bringing aboard the back half of their draft, the Bills agreed to deals with four rookies. Jacksonville State safety Siran Neal, Virginia Tech guard Wyatt Teller (Round 5, pick 166), Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (Round 6, pick 187) and North Carolina wideout Austin Proehl (Round 7, pick 255) signed their initial Buffalo deals.
  • Second-round Panthers pick Donte Jackson (No. 55 overall) signed his rookie contract. Indiana tight end Ian Thomas (Round 4, pick 101), Ole Miss defensive end Marquis Haynes (Round 4, pick 136), Maryland linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. (Round 5, pick 161) and Miami defensive tackle Kendrick Norton (Round 7, pick 242) followed suit.