Khalil Mack plus Von Miller? That's what N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb hopes to be
INDIANAPOLIS — Bradley Chubb prides himself on being relentless, whether it’s tracking enemy quarterbacks or annoying his opponents.
Asked for a self-scouting report Saturday at the NFL combine, the North Carolina State defensive end responded: “High motor, high energy, passionate. Just a guy who’s gonna get after that quarterback, get after the guy with the ball — whoever has the ball in their hands — I’m running 50 yards down the field just to get that ball.”
The 6-4, 269-pounder did that exceptionally well for the Wolfpack during his senior season, racking up 10 sacks and 26 tackles for losses. His combination of size and production gives him an excellent chance to be the first defensive player taken in the 2018 draft.
It also doesn’t hurt that there seems to be dearth of talent at a position NFL teams value more than most.
“I think the edge-rushing class is down this year,” said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock. “Chubb is a no-brainer in the top five.”
A first team All American in 2017 and winner of the Hendricks Award (top college football defensive end) and Nagurski Award (best defensive player), Chubb certainly wasn’t going to disagree with such a lofty assessment.
“My confidence level’s gonna say I’m the best player,” he said. “I feel like I put it on tape four years.”
Chubb grew up around football. His father, Aaron, was a linebacker at Georgia in the mid-1980s. Brother Brandon played at Wake Forest, and cousin Nick just starred at Georgia and had an excellent workout at the combine Friday. Nick Chubb will likely be one of the first running backs drafted this year.
But Bradley clearly believes that if you’re not a quarterback, the next-best thing might be being the guy who creates misery for those pretty boy passers. He models his game after Raiders star Khalil Mack and Denver’s Von Miller, trying to combine the former’s power with the latter’s speed and finesse.
Pass rushers “impact the game tremendously,” said Chubb. “My job is to get after one of the best players on the field, one of the highest-paid players on the field. It just changes the dynamic of the game. You saw the Super Bowl, a sack caused a fumble — ends the game. Take it back to when the Broncos won, Von Miller just going crazy in that game — Super Bowl MVP.”
Still, Chubb didn’t exude a demeanor of boastfulness or arrogance. He pointed out stopping the run is important, too, and something he takes pride in doing. And his love for football is grounded in a belief that he’s not a one-man wrecking crew.
"I love how one person can’t be great unless the whole team is great, if that makes sense. Of course I could make plays here and there, but I couldn’t do that unless my D-tackle and my nose tackle are eating up blocks,” he said.
“Everybody has to work together.”
But sometimes doing things on your own helps, too.
Chubb swiped a hand towel from Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant when N.C. State played the Tigers in November.
“It’s just something I do to get into people’s heads. I do it with light-heartedness,” he said of the practice. “But if I sees something bothers you, I’m gonna keep doing it.”
It’s gotten him this far.
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