Career Recap: Heading into the 2017 season, one team that has a buzz about it in the scouting community is the N.C. State Wolfpack. Namely, scouts are saying that there is a lot of defensive line talent to watch this season in Raleigh, North Carolina. The headliner among that group is Chubb, who could have been a first-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft.
Chubb broke out in 2016 with 58 tackles with 22 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass batted. That was a significant jump in sack production compared to the 5.5 sacks he had as a sophomore. In 2015, he also added 69 tackles with 12 for a loss and three forced fumbles in his first year as a starter. Chubb was a freshman backup in 2014.
2017 Season Outlook: The senior is slated to see some quality offensive tackles in 2017, including a few NFL prospects. He also has some weak opponents that should let him pad his stats. The top games to watch Chubb against future NFL blockers are in the back half of the season. In late October, he will see Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey, a potential first-round pick. A week later, Chubb will see a good pass protecting left tackle in Clemson's Mitch Hyatt. Chubb will have a quality schedule to test him in his final season of college football.
Skill-Set Summary: The NFL is a pass-happy league, and having players who can get after the quarterback is the most essential building block of any defense. Defensive linemen are always in demand in NFL drafts, and Chubb should have plenty of interested teams in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Chubb is a sturdy base send with some quickness, strength, and athletic ability. He is a good athlete on the edge as he has a nice burst off the snap with a quick first-step. Chubb gets into his gap quicker than many offensive linemen expect, which allows him to gain good leverage on blockers. Once Chubb gets into the backfield, he has a strong bull rush and the ability to go from speed to power to fight through blockers. One of the most impressive things about Chubb's technique is a strong rip move that he employs to shed blocks. Coming around the corner or rushing to the inside, Chubb does a really nice job of ripping up to get blockers off of him and close on the quarterback. Chubb also has nice closing speed to finish plays off.
While Chubb is a thick and sturdy defensive lineman, you see nice flexibility from him to dip and get low through blocks. He isn't too stiff where he has an inability to bend. Chubb doesn't have elite bending ability, but is better than one might expect.
Like any collegiate player, Chubb could has some areas of improvement. It would be good to see the senior demonstrate more pass-rushing moves to go with his rip move and bull rush. Adding a spin move and a club move, as well as learning to counter to the inside would make him more dangerous. Chubb already is a good pass-rushing prospect for the next level, but adding more moves would make him more complete and dynamic.
Chubb is a quality defender against the run. He can hold his ground, at times, and has the ability to shed blocks to get in on tackles outside of his gap. However, he could use more strength in his base and needs to get better at shedding blocks that are coming downhill straight at him. That would help him against NFL offensive linemen. Chubb is good at getting upfield to knife through his gap and cause havoc in the backfield.
For the passing-driven pro game, Chubb looks like a solid base end who would fit really well in a 4-3 defense. That is what he has played at N.C. State, and he has shown some versatility to move inside and rush as a tackle in obvious passing situations. He could continue that in the NFL. Right now, Chubb looks like a tweener for a 3-4 defense between a five-technique and outside linebacker. At this time of year, one never knows if listed measurements are accurate, and players can change their weight during the process, so that could be subject to change.
2018 NFL Draft Expectations: If Chubb duplicates his junior year, he could easily be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. If he improves as a senior, going in the top half of the first round isn't out of the question.