#35: Browns: RB Nick Chubb

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Overview
A four-year starter at Georgia, Chubb put himself on the NFL map with his outstanding freshman season, but his sophomore knee injury created questions about his future, appearing to be a lesser version of himself upon his return as a junior. However, Chubb produced senior tape reminiscent of his true freshman season, finishing with a 6.2 average in 2017 despite only one run over 35 yards.

Chubb isn’t the most explosive runner, but he has light feet and skillfully marries his movements with his eyes. Defenders better finish him to the ground because his balance, run purpose and lower body strength allows him to squirm out of tackle attempts. He has a natural feel for the position and it is no coincidence that he finds running room due to his understanding of play design, patience and pace of action. As long as the medicals are clean, Chubb projects as a capable starter in the NFL.

BACKGROUND
A four-star running back recruit out of high school, Nicholas “Nick” Chubb, who is a descendant of the well-known Chubb family who founded Chubbtown, Ga. in the 1860s, was considered one of the top prep players in the state. Despite five-star running back Sony Michel already committed,

Chubb decided to stay home and commit to Georgia, choosing the Bulldogs over Florida, Auburn, Tennessee and South Carolina. He wasn’t expected to see extensive playing time with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall entrenched atop the running back depth chart, but both missed most of the 2014 season and Chubb seized the starting role. He earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors with a team-best 1,547 rushing yards on 219 carries and 14 touchdowns.

Chubb was off to a better start in 2015 as a sophomore before he suffered a season-ending knee injury, requiring surgery. He returned as a junior in 2016 and showed obvious rust, but led the Bulldogs with 1,130 rushing yards on 224 carries and eight touchdowns. Chubb surprised many by bypassing the NFL for his senior season in Athens, looking much more like his 2014 form.

Analysis
STRENGTHS
Desired build with thick legs and lower body. Physical mentality and delivers blows mid-run. Finishes with low pads and forward lean, carrying tacklers for a few extra yards. Above average run balance, vision and cutting ability to make quick decisions based on his reads. Strong footwork in the hole to plant-and-go, keeping his eyes and feet in sync. Smooth lateral cuts and quickly regains his momentum.

Sees through the first defender and locates blocks, setting up his second and third moves. Professional work habits since high school and pushes himself in the weight room. Highly productive and finished his collegiate career ranked top-3 in the SEC in rushing yards – tied Herschel Walker for the SEC record with 13-straight 100-yard games. Football bloodlines – father (Henry) played at Valdosta State; uncle (Aaron) played at Georgia; cousin (Brandon) has spent time on NFL practice squads last two seasons; cousin (Bradley) is a first round prospect in the 2018 draft class. Three-time team captain. Developed mental toughness dealing with his sophomore knee injury. – Dane Brugler 11/28/2017

WEAKNESSES
Not a dynamic start-stop athlete in space. Moves with one consistent speed, but lacks explosive gears. Gets himself in trouble when he stops his feet in the backfield. Shows soft hands when targeted, but wasn’t a high volume receiving threat in college (29 career catches). Ball security improved, but still room for improvement.

Featured runner most of his career, but benefited from deep backfields, allowing him to have fresh legs – only one game with 20+ touches as a senior. Medicals will be important after his ugly knee injury (Oct. 2015), tearing the PCL, MCL and LCL (but not the ACL) in his left knee, missing the second half of his sophomore season – also missed some time due to a left ankle injury as a junior (Sept. 2016). – Dane Brugler 11/28/17

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