The whole time I was watching tape I had to constantly keep reminding myself Bradley Chubb, the No. 5 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is listed at 6’4 and over 270 pounds. I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, Broncos fans.
Like, this dude showed the kind of quickness, bend, and athleticism normally reserved for much smaller guys. He looked so smooth turning the corner, so fast coming off the ball. At times he looked more like a basketball player on the field crossing fools up, rather than the hulking defensive end his height and weight would suggest.
But, to be clear, there were plenty of plays where Chubb’s almost ideal size for an edge rusher was also very apparent, especially against the run. I saw him easily bench press tight ends back when he lined up in a six-technique. I also saw plenty of times where he would knock an offensive tackle back and easily shed him to make a play on the ball carrier. His combination of athleticism and power is just about unfair!
Wait, I’m just getting started.
Chubb’s technique was also outstanding as well. Whether he was playing the run, or getting after the quarterback, Chubb did a really good job of using his hands, and his footwork was top notch too. Numerous times I watched him react and change direction to spill pullers on counter plays instead of just continuing to run up the field.
Chubb was also quick and efficient when he had to stunt inside.
As a pass rusher, his bend around the corner reminded me a little bit of Derek Barnett from last year, and if you remember my breakdown on Barnett, that’s a mighty compliment to Chubb.
Much like Barnett, Chubb also did a great job turning his hips toward the quarterback while he rushed the passer. It’s one of the main reasons that Chubb didn’t need much more than rip moves to be consistently successfully around the edge.
Oh, and to top it all off, this guy really gets after it. Chubb showed the kind of motor in those four games that I absolutely love.
Whether it was a run or a pass you would find Chubb playing through the whistle on just about every play. Plenty of times his effort helped limit the damage on long plays, and on at least one occasion he was able to catch an opposing player from behind and force a fumble which NC State recovered.
If you are wondering if he could fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4, it’s also worth noting that Chubb dropped into coverage plenty of times in four games, and he looked very natural doing so.
On the other hand he dominated playing defensive in a 4-3 in college, so he should fit right in with any defense that runs that scheme. From what I’ve seen you could line Chubb up on the edge in any kind of NFL defense and the guy will shine.
(The reality is most teams play a little bit of both these days anyway, so he would fit right in on any of the 32 teams’ defense.)
I mean if I had a wish list of things I wanted to see out of an edge rusher prospect on his tape, Chubb would check all of my boxes. I can also see where his game could actually grow more after he gets to the league. With an expansion of his of pass rush moves, Chubb can be even harder to block on the next level than he was at NC State. As he starts to incorporate a few more power moves, he is going to give offensive linemen nightmares.
Add to all of these traits the fact that Chubb was very productive in the games I watched. This kid is one of the most well-rounded edge rusher draft prospects I have ever seen. I mean four sacks, six tackles for a loss, eight pressures, four hits on the quarterback, and 20 other tackles in four games is just silly.
Usually an edge prospect will have have question marks in some areas. Some have the speed and quickness, but maybe are little undersized. Others have tons of athletic ability and the size you like to see, but are very raw with their technique. Then you have the cats who look the part, but just didn’t have the production in college for some reason. And then you have the rare player who has every thing you want, but their technique is already so good that it looks like they may have already come close to maxing out their potential. Or maybe they played well, but they loafed a little too much.
Chubb just didn’t have any of these “buts” in the games I watched.
Which is not to say that I didn’t see any negative plays in those four games. One time Chubb got a little too heavy trying to play a base block on an offensive tackle and allowed the running back to bounce outside and break containment.
Another time he had a shot at a tackle for a loss after spilling a counter play, but the running back ran through his tackle attempt and picked up big yardage.
Those plays, however, were anomalies in the four games I watched. Most of the time he was just kicking ass.
Did I mention yet he was just as effective lining up on the left edge as he was lining up on the right?
Because, yeah ...
I’m not sure what more you could ask for.
Maybe the only thing I didn’t see from Chubb that I would want to were a few more power rushes, but even that’s just a minor criticism. He did use some long-arm moves very effectively as a counter move, but still.
And with the strength and pad level he showed in other parts of his game, I don’t think Chubb will have any problem incorporating a few more bull rushes into his arsenal.
So even my minor criticism isn’t much of one.
I don’t know if Chubb is the *best* edge rush prospect I have ever broken down, but he definitely appears to be one of the safest. NC State even let him pass rush inside a couple of times in those four games. With his frame, there is always a chance a team could bulk him up a little and use him as an interior pass rusher if he has issues out on the edge. On the field, from what I have seen, the guy just looks like a sure thing.
It’s going to be up to him to continue working hard at his craft and getting better, but I do feel like the sky is the limit. Bradley Chubb is going to make some defensive coordinator’s job a lot easier for the next decade or so, provided he stays healthy. While this is the first breakdown I’ve done for this draft class, I would still expect him to go pretty high in the first round this year.
Since I don’t have access to all-22 for college football games, I use the next best thing for my draft profiles and go to Draft Breakdown where they post the TV copy of a bunch of top prospects’ games already cut up and ready to go. Because Draft Breakdown only had three games for Bradley Chubb, I also had to track down the FSU game with good old Google.
For the purposes of this breakdown I watched Chubb play against South Carolina, Marshall, Florida State, and Louisville. Those represented the first, second, fourth, and sixth games on North Carolina State’s schedule last season, respectively.