Nick Chubb may be a popular name that college fans will know, but going into the draft, that isn’t the case. Chubb has been a perennial preseason Heisman candidate with high expectations, but he has never been able to truly surpass them. Maybe now that he is being considered a mid-draft prospect and is getting lower expectations going into the NFL, he can finally excel. Let’s take a look at this four-year Georgia running back prospect.
When Chubb came to Georgia as a true freshman, he was supposed to be the backup for current Los Angeles Rams starter, Todd Gurley. When Gurley was suspended in Week 6 for accepting money for autographs and memorabilia, Chubb got his chance to shine. He excelled in his first game with 143 yards and continued to rush for over 100 yards in every game for the rest of his freshman year. Since Gurley left for the NFL after the season, it was supposed to be Chubb’s time to show the nation what he had.
Unfortunately, in the middle of his 2015 season, he tore his ACL and was out the rest of the year. Ever since the injury, Chubb has not been the same explosive runner. In 2016 he was able to perform well and rush for over 1,000 yards, even though he dealt with an ankle injury. He decided to stay for his senior year and, with Sony Michel, he led the team to an SEC Championship and to the NCAA Championship game. He ran for 1,345 rushing yards and played every game, but he never reached his peak of 1,547 rushing yards in 13 games during his freshman year.
If we were analyzing a Nick Chubb that never tore his ACL, we may be looking at one of the top picks in the draft or he would have left Georgia in 2016. Sadly, that is not true and you can see the difference in how he runs by watching his film. He has been able to be successful with how much power and strength he runs with, but he doesn’t have the speed or explosiveness to break away.
Breaking tackles is another story, though.
He runs with low with great balance and he has a solid stiff arm, allowing him to overcome his lack of speed. At the Combine, he showed his strength with 29 bench press reps, same as Saquon Barkley and he ran a 4.52 40, which turned a lot of heads. The speed is there, it is just a matter of putting it into his game. He also does not have a lot of experience as a receiving back, making him more of a two-down back.
Staying for his senior season, Chubb was able to improve on his weaknesses and showed that he can get close to his old self. I see him as a mid-draft pick, probably going in the third or fourth round, but can still be a solid starter for a team. Unfortunately for him, he will not be the top pick in the draft, seeing that his cousin is Bradley Chubb.