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Broncos Film Room: Can Bradley Chubb bring the defense back to dominance?

Andre Simone Avatar
April 27, 2018

With the fifth pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected NC State edge rusher Bradley Chubb. 

As we’ll do with every pick the Broncos make, we’re going to dig into Chubb’s tape and give you a full scouting report on Denver’s newest defensive stud. 

For other content on Chubb, here’s our edge rusher preview and our first round options preview, where we talked about him at length in both pieces.

Strengths:

  • Chubb has a relentless non-stop motor and constantly creates pressure.

  • His ability in pursuit is terrific—just watch him run down Lamar Jackson.

  • He has a great combination of speed and power.

  • He is also a superb run defender, is very strong in setting the edge against the run.

  • Good athlete sideline-to-sideline. 
  • His straight-line speed and first step are high-end. 

  • Chubb dominates tackles when attacking their inside shoulder, using his strength very well.
  • He has really strong hands and can swipe tackles hands consistently.
  • The Wolfpack stud is a tone-setter up front.
  • He’s a versatile rusher, who can be moved around the formation. 
  • Chubb’s a supreme blitzer up the middle, allowing the Broncos to be much more creative in their scheme.
  • Rushing inside, he can be dominant on stunts.

  • Has some deceptive ability to drop in coverage.
  • Maybe Chubb’s best quality is that he’s an elite finisher. He doesn’t miss many sack opportunities.
  • Finally, he’s smart. He won’t overcommit and stays in his lane, he makes lots of plays.

Weaknesses 

  • Chubb’s biggest concern in becoming an elite rusher is his agility and bend.
  • He’s not an elite athlete. He struggled to get by Brian O’Neil and Mike McGlinchey, the two most athletic OTs he faced last year.

  • Played on a D-line with entirely NFL talent, didn’t face as many double teams.
  • Can get thrown off balance from time to time. His balance can be shaky.  
  • Chubb won’t dominate double teams.
  • He needs to show a stronger base, doesn’t bench press lineman like some.

In conclusion

Chubb fits the Broncos nicely, allowing them to restore their pass rush and defense to prominence. He has very few weaknesses in his game and very little bad tape.

Even in his worst games where he struggled with one tackle, he still got a few plays in against McGlinchey and O’Neil, and even then, created plays against other linemen when moved around the formation.

Some will say he’s not a natural fit as a stand up outside linebacker in a 3-4, but I think that’s overblown. He was plenty efficient rushing the passer on his feet and competed well when dropped into coverage.

This gives the Broncos a special duo of pass rushers with Chubb being strong and relentless and Von Miller having that electric first step that’ll be really hard to game plan against. 

Chubb is a great value pick as he was fifth on our big board and is one of the surer picks in this draft. He might not be an elite talent, but he promises to be a high-end starter at a premium position who should be productive for many years and is NFL ready.

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