Every draft has at least one player who will come in and instantly improve a team’s pass rush for years to come. This year, it appears to be N.C. State’s Bradley Chubb. He looks the part after watching him disrupt plays in the ACC for years. He has the prototype size and speed you’d want on the outside and also comes from quite the pedigree. His father, brother and even cousin have had a ton of success during their time in college, but Chubb will look to carry his success to the pro level.
Chubb leaves N.C. State after four seasons with 198 tackles, 54.5 tackles for loss, 25.0 sacks, 1 interception, 4 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery and 6 forced fumbles. Talk about a stat line!
Chubb will not be an option for the Bengals unless the team trades up in the first round — and do not expect that to happen — but he could end up as either a division rival with the Browns or a 2018 opponent with the Colts or Broncos.
School: N.C. State
Position: Pass rusher
Weight: 275 pounds
Projected Round: Top 10 pick in the first round
NFL comparison: NFL.com compares him to Chris Long
Chubb is the prototype pass rusher in the NFL. His size and weight are perfect, and you can tell he knows how to use them when you watch him get after quarterbacks. He has the ability to get up to his top speed incredibly quick, and he will be a nightmare for tackles who lack top notch athletic ability.
He has an incredible motor, and he always keeps fighting even if his first move doesn’t work. He just has a nose for the quarterback, and he has a few moves he shuffles around to get there. He will have to improve keeping the offensive linemen’s hands off his body by working on rip and swim moves more, but that is a learn able trait.
He also has incredible power. Not just a speed to power move, which he also has, but you can see him make an initial punch at the tackle and open up enough daylight for him to run through. He is also a fiery player with excitement that’s infectious for the rest of his defense.
The only criticism of Chubb comes with his pad level. He plays high sometimes, and it really hinders him quite a bit. He may have been able to get away with it in college, but that will be the first thing he will need to improve on in the NFL. He also had issues with athletic tackles who were able to attack him more, but that is also just more of a technique thing that coaches can correct by having him learn a counter move.
It is easy to see the future is bright for this kid. It is also easy to see he will likely be at least a top 10 pick. That means the Bengals have next to no chance of being able to pick him. Chubb will live in the backfield of the opponent, and he should see consistent success over his career. We’ll soon see just how often the Bengals will be facing him based on where he lands.