The Broncos have had a strong pass rush for years -- ever since drafting Von Miller back in 2011, in fact. They ranked in the top-10 in sacks in five of the next six seasons, with at least 40 in all of them (Minnesota was the only other team to manage that).

Over that span, only the Panthers and Rams have more sacks than the Broncos.

TEAM SACKS, 2011-2017
LA Rams39525340413148304
New England40374840493442290
Green Bay29474441434037281
Kansas City29274746472831255
New Orleans33304934313042249
NY Giants48333447233527247
San Francisco42383836283330245
NY Jets35304145392728245
LA Chargers32383526323543241
Tampa Bay23273536383822219

But they slipped to just 33 last year, and 2018 isn't starting off great, either. Shane Ray is undergoing something called "bone fusion surgery" on his troublesome wrist. That doesn't sound good, and it will knock him out for the preseason, and he's no lock to be ready for the start of the season, either. Denver previously declined his fifth-year option, so Ray (who had 8 sacks in 2016) is now looking unlikely to be a part of the team's future.

Enter top pick Bradley Chubb. Arguably the draft's best defensive player, the run on quarterbacks and Cleveland's decision to take a corner at No. 4 had him available to the Broncos at No. 5 overall. Ray's likely absence means Denver will need Chubb to contribute right away, likely starting across the line from Miller. What can be expected?

Might be a lot to expect him to immediately put up double-digit sacks. Over the last 20 years, just 15 players have recorded 10-plus sacks as rookies; only one (Joey Bosa two years ago) since 2011. That was the year Miller did it, as did another rookie, Aldon Smith.

ROOKIE SACKS, 1998-2017
199914.5Jevon Kearse, Tenn.DE
201114.0Aldon Smith, S.F.OLB
200213.0Dwight Freeney, Ind.DE
200612.0Mark Anderson, Chi.DE
200312.0Terrell Suggs, Balt.OLB
200212.0Julius Peppers, Car.DE
201111.5Von Miller, Den.OLB
200911.0Brian Orakpo, Wash.OLB
200611.0Kamerion Wimbley, Clev.OLB
200011.0Darren Howard, N.O.DE
201610.5Joey Bosa, S.D.DE
200310.5Kevin Williams, Minn.DE
201010.0Ndamukong Suh, Det.DT
200910.0Clay Matthews, G.B.OLB
200510.0Shawne Merriman, S.D.OLB
20109.5Carlos Dunlap, Cin.DE
20009.5Corey Simon, Phil.DT
20149.0Aaron Donald, St.L.DT
20049.0Jared Allen, K.C.DE
20019.0Kendrell Bell, Pitt.ILB
20178.5Carl Lawson, Cin.DE
20118.5Jabaal Sheard, Clev.DE
20068.5Elvis Dumervil, Den.DE
20018.5Justin Smith, Cin.DE
20008.5Shaun Ellis, NYJDE
20168.0Yannick Ngakoue, Jac.DE
20158.0Preston Smith, Wash.DE
20138.0Ziggy Ansah, Det.DE
20128.0Bruce Irvin, Sea.DE
20068.0Tamba Hali, K.C.DE
20058.0DeMarcus Ware, Dall.OLB
20028.0Carlos Hall, Tenn.DE
20008.0Brian Urlacher, Chi.MLB
19988.0Lorenzo Bromell, Mia.DE
19988.0Vonnie Holliday, G.B.DE
20117.5Adrian Clayborn, T.B.DE
20117.5Ryan Kerrigan, Wash.OLB
20057.5Leroy Hill, Sea.OLB
20047.5Will Smith, N.O.DE
20177.0T.J. Watt, Pitt.OLB
20177.0Myles Garrett, Clev.DE
20167.0Leonard Floyd, Chi.OLB
20117.0Sam Acho, Ariz.OLB
20117.0Karl Klug, Tenn.DT
20027.0Charles Grant, N.O.DE
20026.5Kalimba Edwards, Det.DE
20026.5John Henderson, Jac.DT
20016.5Andre Carter, S.F.DE
20016.5Aaron Schobel, Buff.DE
20176.0Takkarist McKinley, Atl.DE
20166.0DeForest Buckner, S.F.DE
20126.0Chandler Jones, N.E.DE
20126.0Whitney Mercilus, Hou.OLB
20126.0Derek Wolfe, Den.DE
20116.0Pernell McPhee, Balt.DE
20116.0Brooks Reed, Hou.OLB
20076.0Gaines Adams, T.B.DE
20016.0Derrick Burgess, Phil.DE

Last year the top rookie was Cincinnati's Carl Lawson, with 8.5. Chubb, like Miller and Bosa, was a top-5 pick, so maybe he'll join them as 10-sack rookies. Ray's likely absence will certainly factor into Chubb being counted on for significant snaps right away. If Denver is going to get back up over 40 sacks, Chubb will be a big part of that. They'll need it if they're going to be a top-1o fantasy defense, as they were the previous five seasons. Last year they were just 18th (1 point for sacks, 2 for takeaways, 6 for touchdowns).

--Andy Richardson