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Scouting the 2018 NFL Draft - Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State

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North Carolina v North Carolina State Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Previously, I took a look at a highly maligned quarterback from out west that many Jets fans are not particularly fond of. To continue our 2018 draft series, I’ll take a look at one of the most revered edge rushers in the draft, Bradley Chubb, who could have the tools to be the missing piece on this Jets defense. If the Jets have quarterback solved prior to their selection at #6, a player like Chubb could certainly be in play. Let’s take a look at the North Carolina State product.

Personal/Physical

Born: 1996 (date not available)

Hometown: Marietta, GA

Height: 6’4

Weight: 276

Career Stats

2014: 4 tackles

2015: 66 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 5.0 sacks, 1 interception, 1 PD, 2 FF

2016: 56 tackles, 21.0 TFL, 10.0 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FR, 3 FF

2017: 72 tackles, 23.0 TFL, 10.0 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FF

I watched the following games from Chubb’s 2017 season: Florida State, Louisville, South Carolina, Marshall.

Positives:

  • Great athlete, combines length and muscle with tremendous athleticism and solid speed
  • Deep bag of tricks as a pass rusher, can win in a variety of ways
  • Has a great array of inside moves
  • Tremendous non-stop motor, it’s a term that gets thrown around but Chubb really shows it
  • Good edge setter, will hold his position in the run game and knows when to get involved for the tackle
  • Disciplined, smart decision maker who knows his role
  • Great hands-fighter, aggressively fights off tackles off the snap to allow himself to use athleticism to finish
  • Has some experience in both zone and man coverage
  • Attracted a fair amount of double teams
  • Had stretches of pure dominance
  • Visibly passionate player

Negatives:

  • Questionable first step: will he be able to win with speed in the NFL? Combine should be huge for him in answering the question on his explosiveness in the eyes of scouts
  • Tweener size: Is he too small for defensive end? Too big for outside linebacker?
  • Has the tendency to sometimes overrun plays in run and pass game
  • Can be late to recognize and get involved in run plays up the middle
  • A few fairly long stretches of inactivity as a pass rusher
  • Could look to go to his inside moves a bit more often, refine his pass rushing gameplan/approach a bit. Has some great finesse moves that at times I was hoping to see him go to more often

Other Notes:

  • Watch his game against FSU. Pure pass rushing dominance. Amazing.
  • Had a solid game against Louisville. Made some really impressive plays against a very mobile QB in Lamar Jackson, but also found himself taken out of a few plays that turned out be Louisville successes.
  • His South Carolina game was quiet, missed a couple plays he should’ve made, but still displayed that he is always going to give a very high motor and strong discipline.
  • Played well against Marshall, had quite a few strong plays in the run game in particular.

Film

Chubb wears #9.

Check out this swim move to get the hit on the quarterback. That’s smooth. He sets the tackle up with a first step outside and uses his quickness and technique to beat him inside.

As I mentioned in the notes, the term “high motor” gets tossed around a lot, but this play right here demonstrates why Chubb really has one. Watch him trail this play and come from behind to force a fumble that FSU would eventually recover.

Great hands here. Just look at those hands! This is really impressive. He digs right into the tackle to hold him off and beat him to the quarterback. It’s good enough to see an edge rusher understand the importance of using his hands to win, but this right here is also a demonstration of pure athleticism. The strength to hold the tackle off and still beat him around the edge? This is elite stuff.

Here, more great hands, but check out the bend to dip under the tackle and get inside to the QB. Then a great finish on a notoriously athletic player.

One of my favorite things about watching Chubb was that I didn’t notice many consistent dire weaknesses to his game. However, he did fail to finish a couple of plays in the South Carolina game. Here is one that ends up in the end zone.

Chubb isn’t just a pass rusher. He’s a complete edge defender. Check out some of these run stops.

This is a high IQ play most of all. He could easily bite on this option play and go for the QB, but he has the quick reaction time and athleticism to adjust and flip on a dime to make a very clean finish in the backfield.

Right here, Chubb immediately recognizes the inside run, makes an athletic dip inside, and makes a great finish.

More great run defense. Chubb knows his role here is to defend the handoff in his direction on this option, and he is ready for the back to come into his arms before he touches the ball. Yet another athletic inside move, and Chubb finishes with power.

Other GGN Views:

Smackdad: “I’m not real high on Chubb, particularly for the Jets. Chubb strikes me as a great college guy who tops out as a solid but not great pro. He seems to do a lot of things well, but nothing elite.”

“He seems like a much better fit for a team that runs mostly 4-3 fronts. I think pick #6 is much too high for how I see him fitting what the Jets want to do on defense.”

Matt (GangGreenMag): “The thing about Chubb is that he can lose that weight he gained, and play OLBer just like he did previously. He can go back to 265-270 and be fine at that weight. He was very effective at that weight.”

“He doesn’t have the bend like Harold Landry, or an elite 1st step, but he is clinical in how he sets up tackles with both moves to the inside and outside.”

“We need scheme versatility. Chubb is perfect for that.”

David Wyatt: “I think he’s very good, he has a good motor, good quickness off the line and good bend... but is he an elite level top 5 type talent when you look at everything, I’m not 100% sold.”

“He’ll be a good pro, but I’m not sold on him being an elite pro that is thought of as a game-changer.”

Draft Grade: High First Round

I honestly feel like I was nitpicking a bit with the weaknesses I listed. Chubb is a very disciplined edge defender who has a tantalizing blend of technique and athleticism. He knows how to use his hands effectively and showcased the ability to win with strength, speed, and finesse. He also displayed very strong play against the run.

When watching an edge rusher, you have to know that they can’t be expected to be involved on every single play. The least you can expect is for them to play their role consistently, and Chubb does that. There are some refinements he can make to become more consistently destructive, and I do wonder how high his ceiling is as he didn’t quite showcase lightning speed. However, to me it’s Chubb’s instincts, IQ, and discipline that give him a very high floor, and with his versatility, athleticism, and production in the ACC he certainly has a first-round worthy ceiling in my view.

If quarterback is solved by the time the Jets are on the clock, Chubb would be a phenomenal selection if he slipped that far. He has the potential to be the edge rusher the Jets have been looking for, and would fit right in as an instant upgrade to this Jets defense. It’s a bit of question as to where he would fit in on this unit, but I feel like Chubb displayed traits that give me confidence he is the kind of player who will find a way to fit in anywhere.