By Charlie Campbell
Summary: There was no five-star recruit massive media hype when Bradley Chubb arrived at N.C. State as a linebacker who was weighing in the 240s. Nobody foresaw Chubb growing into a defensive end who would end up becoming a dominant force in college football, but over time, Chubb became a big-time presence. As a sophomore in 2015, he provided a glimpse of what was to come when he collected 5.5 sacks with 69 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss,and three forced fumbles.
During the past two seasons, Chubb was one of the best edge defenders in college ball. As a junior, Chubb totaled 58 tackles with 22 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass batted. He could have been a first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, but probably would have gone in the back half of Round 1. Chubb wisely decided to return for his senior year, which saw him become truly dominant. For 2017, Chubb totaled 73 tackles with 25 for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes batted. His career sack total of 26 broke Mario Williams’ previous record to be the largest all-time sack total in school history. By deciding to return for his final season and destroying the competition, Chubb turned himself into a future top-10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
For the NFL, there is a ton for evaluators to fall in love with when watching Chubb. He is an excellent run defender. At the point of attack, Chubb is physical, tough, and sets the edge. Generally, he holds his ground well and doesn’t get pushed off the ball with downhill runs coming at him. With his strength and active hands, Chubb is adept at shedding blocks, and he flies to the ball to get in on tackles. Chubb also will frequently blast his way into the backfield to make a tackle for a loss or blow the play up. Many good college pass-rushers are fast and finesse defenders, but Chubb is a balanced player who is as solid defending the run as he is rushing the passer. As a pro edge defender, Chubb should be an asset in the ground game.
Chubb is a dangerous pass-rusher with a non-stop motor and a skill set that make him a skilled quarterback hunter. Unlike many college players, Chubb possesses a repertoire of pass-rushing moves and developed technique. He has active hands that he can use at the same time as his feet. Chubb utilizes a rip move and can go up and under offensive tackles. Chubb uses speed around the corner, and his power to bull rush through tackles. Chubb has natural speed to power that makes him very difficult to single block. His powerful hands are maybe his best trait, which he uses to shed blocks in the pass rush and ground game. Chubb dominated tight ends and was able to beat double teams during his senior year.
With impressive instincts and feel, Chubb sets up tackles with his variety of moves to keep them on their heels. Chubb also is wise to go for the strip, producing nine forced fumbles over the past three years. He comes up with sacks in crunch time and rises to the occasion. Chubb is a consistent source of splash plays with a passionate style of play that feeds the players around him. On the field, Chubb contributes a big-time presence and consistently wrecks offensive game plans.
In terms of defensive scheme, Chubb’s best fit comes in a 4-3 defense. He is a natural base end who should be a three-down difference-maker. If he is drafted into a 3-4, Chubb doesn’t have a natural fit, but he could be moved around from outside linebacker to five-technique defensive end. Chubb looks like he could get by standing up on the edge, but he is at his best with his hand in the ground.
On top of his excellent skill set and college play, Chubb is known to be a great kid with a developed work ethic and is a locker room leader. For the 2018 NFL Draft, Chubb is a lock as a top 10-pick.
Player Comparison: Cam Jordan. Chubb’s game reminds me of Cam Jordan. Jordan (6-4, 287) and Chubb are almost identical in size with similar athletic skill sets. Jordan and Chubb aren’t blinding speed rushers, but they are tough and strong at the point of attack. With size, good hand usage, and quickness, they beat offensive tackles to get steady pressure on the quarterback. In the NFL, I think Chubb could be a defensive end similar to Jordan.
NFL Matches: Indianapolis, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, Chicago, San Francisco and Oakland
In the top-10 of the 2018 NFL Draft, Chubb has a few landing spots. The highest he could probably hope to go is to the Colts with the No. 3-overall pick. Indianapolis has been in need of a franchise defensive player for years, and Chubb would give them an edge rushing and physical presence.
If Chubb gets past the Colts, he could be in play for the Jets, depending on if they are out of the quarterback market. They recently cut Muhammed Wilkerson after trading away Sheldon Richardson. Chubb could form a tough tandem with Leonard Williams for the Jets.
The Bucs would be elated if Chubb fell to their pick. Tampa Bay badly needs an edge rusher across from Noah Spence. Chicago has bigger needs than defensive end, but Chubb could be too good to pass on if he got to the Bears. He could be the cherry on top that finishes off a talented front seven.
49ers general manager John Lynch said he wants to get more edge rush, and obviously Elvis Dumervil was just a short-term signing. Chubb would fit the San Francisco scheme well. Staying in the Bay Area, Oakland also would be a great scheme fit for Chubb. The Raiders need to improve the talent in their front seven and having Chubb across from Khalil Mack would be phenomenal. However, it seems impossible for Chubb to get to Oakland or San Francisco. Thus, those organization would have to trade up for him.
2018 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie’s | Walt’s
2018 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings
2018 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
NFL Picks - Dec. 1
2024 NFL Mock Draft - Nov. 29
Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 7
NFL Power Rankings - June 2