There are hundreds of stories and opinions shared during the planning and anticipation stages of the 2018 NFL Draft. As a former high school football coach and educator by trade, one of my passions include providing film-based reviews on rookie prospects and focusing on their strengths and weakness which may assist other fantasy football enthusiasts in their evaluations.
After reviewing five of his games, here’s my scouting report on senior Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb:
[Note: Most of these game videos are available via YouTube and Draft Breakdown]
RB Nick Chubb, Georgia
5’11” | 228 lbs.
Games Studied: Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Ole Miss (2016), Alabama (2015 & 2017)
Cons: The biggest concern surrounding former Georgia running back Nick Chubb is how recovered is he from the serious knee injury he suffered in 2015? While the ACL was left intact, it was quite apparent that Chubb was not as explosive or fast as he was before the injury. For my film review, I looked at what he ran like in 2014 and 2015. The explosion his legs produced was amazing, averaging 7.1 yards per rush and 8.1 yards per rush in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Since Chubb suffered the damage to his knee, he averaged only five yards per rush in 2016 but improved it to six yards this past season. His speed is continuing to improve (4.52-second 40-yard dash at NFL Combine), but it might never reach what it once was.
There is also some concern regarding Chubb’s lack of usage in the passing game. His teammate, Sony Michel, has softer hands and is a better pass blocker than he is. As a result, Chubb’s passing targets and opportunities to block in passing situations went down dramatically. Another subsequent concern following the emergence of Michel is that Chubb didn’t have to touch the ball as often. Is his body ready to take more of a pounding? Chubb had just one game in 2017 (South Carolina) where he had more than 20 touches. Chubb can be too patient of a runner sometimes which can get him into trouble because it allows defenses to close holes quicker than he can anticipate. Chubb played out his senior season at Georgie (four-year starter), and with that decision comes turning the ripe old age of 23 in December. NFL and dynasty fantasy football owners prefer younger, talented players who have plenty of tread on their tires.
Pros: Chubb uses his powerful core strength well when running behind his pads. He gets low and delivers punishment on every touch and keeps his tree-trunk legs churning to sustain it. The running back has a well-developed center of gravity which helps him break tackles and maintain his balance. Chubb’s patience is like that of Le’Veon Bell’s. He allows his blockers to do their jobs and waits for the play to develop. Apparently, Chubb’s knee injury does not seem to have affected his quick feet because he continues to move well laterally, locate cutback lanes, and demonstrate explosiveness in short bursts.
Chubb is a hard worker in the weight room which creates a big physical presence anywhere he goes. Unlike most runners, Chubb takes the play where it is supposed to go. For example, if the play is a run off the right guard’s hip, that is where the ball carrier runs. Therefore, he doesn’t have the bad habit of instinctively bouncing plays outside. Chubb possesses good vision which helps him run more effectively. His athletic skill is in his bloodline; his father and an uncle also played college football. Also, his cousin is Bradley Chubb, the NC State Wolfpack defender who is expected to go top eight overall in the 2018 Draft.
Overall impressions: If Chubb had never suffered the knee injury in 2015, he would have been considered the NFL (and dynasty rookie) Draft’s top running back over Penn State’s Saquon Barkley. The road towards getting his explosiveness back has been a long one for Chubb, but if you believe he will return to pre-injury form, he might be worth the rookie 1.02 or 1.03. The fantasy haters out there might have him ranked not only behind Barkley, but behind LSU’s Derrius Guice, his fellow Bulldog alumni Michel, USC’s Ronald Jones II, and Oregon’s Royce Freeman. Without knowing which NFL team’s colors Chubb will be donning his rookie season, I have him as the third overall rookie draft pick behind Barkley and Guice. I hope this talented young playmaker returns close to his 2014 and 2015 form.
Thanks for reading. Leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, I will continue to generate and discuss these 2018 rookie scouting reports with you. Therefore, be sure to keep an eye on DTC for all of the new content. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.