With the No. 35 pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Georgia running back Nick Chubb. Chubb rushed 223 times in his final season with Georgia, compiling 1,345 yards and 15 touchdowns. This earned him second-team All-SEC honors. He was one of the most well-known and productive college running backs in college football.
The Browns were in need of a young running back to add to their backfield after the team lost Isaiah Crowell in free agency. Chubb filled a need for the Browns and his fit with the team seemed to a perfect one. The Browns were able to agree to a contract with Chubb yesterday, signing the second-round player to a four-year, $7.3 million deal, $3 million coming as a signing bonus. So, what are the Browns getting in Nick Chubb?
In today’s Brown’s film room, I will take a look at Chubb’s college film and examine his strengths as a player. So without further ado, let’s diagnose the film to unearth Browns running back Nick Chubb’s strengths.
Browns 2018 NFL Draft Film Room Series
The number one strength in Chubb’s arsenal is his power and balance. Chubb is built with a lower center of gravity with strong legs that unleash his power. He runs through contact with ease, keeping his balance throughout the contact. His power helps him gain extra yardage on the end of runs, making him a strong runner in short yardage situations. Here are just a few examples of Chubb’s power and balance.
The first play is a play versus Oklahoma. Chubb receives the handoff and heads right, where he then makes a strong cut inside. When he reaches the hole, a defender immediately grabs him by his shoulders, but the running back is able to get out of his grasps. After he takes a couple more steps, two defenders grab his lower body. But, Chubb shows his balance by withstanding the hits and then his power to get out of the tackle. He then gets loose and takes it all the way for a touchdown.
The second play is a red zone situation versus Appalachian State. Chubb gets the handoff and finds a hole in the left side of the line. He bursts through the line where he easily runs through an arm tackle in the gap. He then ends the run off with a boom. With just a defensive back between Chubb and the endzone, the running back showed off his power. He runs right through the defender and into the endzone, losing very little balance throughout the contact.
The final play comes against Tennessee. This play shows off the drive and power in his legs. Chubb takes the ball and makes a small cut to the left, finding a hole slightly in the left of the line. A defender immediately meets him in the gap. Chubb fights through the contact and carrying the defender down the field using his leg power. He is able to shed that defender, but a few more defenders jump on and try to take down the back. But, Chubb is able to carry the defenders a few more yards, making a quality run in a less than ideal situation.
Chubb has great vision to find the right running lanes to hit. He can find the smallest of holes in the line to run through. He uses his blockers well and follows his blocks to find space to run. His vision is wide in that he can see holes that are not directly in front of him. He pairs his vision with patience to let his blocks develop. Here are some examples of his vision.
In the first play versus Kentucky, Chubb receives the handoff and starts to run straight ahead when he is faced with a penetrating defender. He runs past the defender, who overruns him. Then, he makes a sudden cut to the right where he sees his blockers setting up a hole. He is able to hit the hole and find the daylight to the endzone.
In the second play versus Tennessee, Chubb gets the ball and begins to run to the right. When he approaches the line, he stops and sees his blocker start to drive the defender to the outside. So, he cuts inside behind the blocker, finding a hole to run through. He is able to pull off a four-yard gain by hitting that lane.
The final play is an outside run to the left against Florida. Chubb takes the handoff and tries to run to the left edge, but is faced with an unblocked defender. However, Chubb sees a small hole right before the defender can get him, cutting inside to avoid the defender. The hole was quickly formed by two blockers, allowing him to barely slip through the line and find daylight for a long gain. His quick vision gave him the opportunity to avoid a loss and pull off a big play.
As you have probably noticed already in the previous clips, Chubb has a great ability to make cuts on a dime. He can make a sudden stop and cut to another direction to hit a hole or avoid a defender. The running back can be running full speed in a direction and then immediately stop and change directions when he needs to. Here are some examples of Chubb’s cutting ability.
The first example comes against South Carolina. When Chubb receives the handoff, he is immediately faced with a penetrating defender. Chubb has to cut to the left to avoid the defender. He then cuts back inside to avoid another defender. Those two moves just help the running back make it back to the line. When he is at the line, the back makes one last cut, this time sidestepping a defender with a move to the left. His three cuts in this play help Chubb get a first down in a play where he could have been stopped for a loss.
In the second play versus Appalachian State, Chubb takes the ball and takes a few steps inside. But, he then changes direction and looks to head to the right edge of the line. Though when Chubb sees a defender come up and set the edge, the running back instantly makes a hard cut inside, eluding the defender on the edge. The running back finds the hole and is able to pull off a first down conversion.
In the final play, also against Appalachian State, Chubb grabs the handoff and starts to the right edge of the line. When he gets there, he sees a defender lining him up to try and tackle him. So, Chubb fakes a move to the inside and then decides to cut outside with a strong cut. This move gets the defender off balance and allows Chubb to get free for a big gain downfield. His cut was so abrupt that it surprised the defender and got him off balance.
Chubb has a rare ability that pairs his power with impressive speed. He can outrun a defender with good speed and create big plays downfield. His speed helps him become a possible homerun hitter on any carry. When he is able to get going, Chubb has the speed to beat angles and run past defenders. So, the running back is able to not only run through defenders but also run past them when he can get a full head of steam. Here are a few examples of his speed.
The first play comes against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. Chubb receives the handoff and is able to get a full head of steam running directly up the middle of the line. He bursts through the line and then cuts toward the sideline where he continues to gain speed. His speed is on full view. You can see the running back run past defenders. He almost is able to get past the last defender, who had the clear head start on the field.
In the second example, Chubb shows off his speed against Kentucky. He receives the ball and heads to the left of the line, running through the line between the center and left guard. When he gets a couple feet downfield, he decides to head around the left tackle who has pushed his man downfield. Once he got around the tackle, Chubb turned on his speed and burst up the sideline, running down the sideline and leaving the defense in his dust all the way to the endzone.
The last play comes versus South Carolina. Chubb takes the handoff and finds a hole on the left side of the line. He is able to hit the hole with full speed. In doing so, he is able to run past the linebacker who has the angle on him. He almost got past the last defender, but the defender was able to trip him up before he could get fully free. His speed turned what could have been a five- to ten-yard gain into a 25-yard gain.