Senior Profiles: Nick Chubb – Georgia

Georgia Nick Chubb

In preparation for FakePigskin’s 2018 Senior Bowl coverage, I will take an early look at prospects whom are projected to have a major role in the upcoming NFL draft.

Each prospect will be broken down by characteristics I use when evaluating players and how they should transition to the next level.

Name:       Nick Chubb

Position:  Running Back

School:     Georgia

Height:    5’ 10”

Weight:    225

- Overview

Following in the footsteps of current NFL sensation Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb had to take a slower path to success. As it would turn out, it would take the suspension of Gurley in 2014 to open the pathway during his freshman campaign.

Through Gurley’s four-game absence, Chubb would haul the rock 103 times for 671 yards accounting for five scores while compiling a 219/1,547/14 season. He would not look back until the sixth game of the following year when he suffered a severe left knee injury, tearing his LCL (lateral collateral ligament), PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and MCL (medial collateral ligament) thus ending his 2015 term.

Chubb’s 2016 campaign would be a bit inconsistent as an ankle injury in his fourth game versus Mississippi would limit his full potential for the remainder of the season. In 13 games, Chubb carried the rock 224 times totaling 1,130 yards for a 5.0 yards per carry while totaling 8 scores. This was well under his 6.4 school career average.

While many pundits had believed Chubb would have come out as an underclassman, he would head back for his final year with the Bulldogs with hopes of securing a top spot in the upcoming NFL draft. As of this article, Chubb seems to be back on track. During his first 9 starts he has totaled 867 rushing yards on 140 attempts for a 6.2 average and already 9 touchdowns.

- Vision/Instincts:

Chubb is a well-balanced north / south style runner who uses patience which allows his offensive line to set their blocks while using extraordinary vision and natural instincts to hit the hole with maximum force. Once the hole has been exploited, he will ramp up the speed with a surprising burst and should a player stand in the way, will lower a shoulder or dish out a stiff arm to push the defender back creating additional yardage.

Georgia Nick Chubb

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- Elusiveness:

Chubb has a natural running style and sudden quickness that allows him to avoid tackles and quickly get to the second level. His continually moving feet allow him to execute quick cuts with limited effort. Chubb uses short, tricky shifts of his body that allow him to slightly change the angle of his run before kicking it back into gear heading toward the end zone.

- Inside running/Power:

The preferred rushing style is upright and between the tackles, especially on draw plays where the hole is designed and using his effective cutting style that will get him to the second level of the defense quickly at which point he displays a straight ahead burst putting fear into smaller defenders.

Once this level has been attained, it is not uncommon to see him dragging several defenders forward for extra yardage. Chubb will truck smaller defenders who get in his way after he’s picked up steam.

- Outside running:

For a larger back, Chubb will often read the play originally designed to go through the interior gap then quickly bounce it to the edge before heading upfield. While not the fastest, his vision and instant decision making allows him to determine his course of action quickly before he’s within the grasp of the oncoming defensive line.

This uncanny skill will come in extremely useful should he be drafted by a team with a developing quarterback whom welcomes defenders to load up the middle of the box.

- Home Run Ability:

The short answer is ‘yes’. If after hitting the hole at full speed, Chubb in the open field with steam is an extremely dangerous player. While this likely won’t be common in the NFL, do know that the ability to change a game in quick order does exist.

- Ball Security:

To date, Chubb has only fumbled a total of six times in 655 carries, which if you’re doing the math is once every 100-plus carries. Chubb will work in tight quarters, especially when in the red zone so it is imperative that he holds the ball with both hands and tightly to his body when in traffic.

- Blocking/Blitz Pick-up:

Chubb has above average blitz pick-up skills to engage a rusher long enough to allow his quarterback to step up in the pocket or sprint to an open area. He gives maximum effort and with some NFL coaching will have the ability to stick around on third downs. He does tend to bounce the linebacker/safety/cornerback to the outside, so will need some work when the defender moves to the inside where the quarterback may be heading.

- Hands:

This portion of his game remains a mystery. The Bulldogs use him exclusively as a bell-cow running back. Case in point are his mere 28 receptions and 4 touchdowns in 40 games to date. Film does show that while he is not the most natural receiver, if given the ball in space can take it to the house on any play.

- Final Thoughts

Many pundits compare Chubb to a lesser Leonard Fournette. Other critics believe that his running style is not nearly as reckless and should sustain a long professional career. There is a certain group who will liken his running style to that of an Alfred Morris with a next-level burst of speed, which isn’t bad.

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