*Our DL grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.


Bradley Chubb  is pretty well locked in as the top defensive prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft. Some say he’s ‘secretly’ the best overall prospect in the draft.

I kinda thought the same after a preview of his tape ahead of the NFL Combine, but after further review…I’m not so sure he’s the best defensive player in the draft.

I’m not so sure he’s the best DE/EDGE prospect in this draft.

Those last two statements are total football heresy. Everyone in football scouting knows that Chubb is the best defensive player in the draft. I’m going to discuss why that might not be the case. I’m not trying to be contrarian for the sake of it…I’m more interested in proper valuations than stirring a pot.

First off, Chubb is a very legit NFL prospect. I’m not taking that away from him. 6′4″/269 pounds and runs a 4.65 40-time. He was very productive in college – Defensive Player of the Year in the ACC in 2017 with a number of other national defensive awards. 10.0 sacks in each of the past two seasons and 20+ TFLs per campaign the past two years. He’s a first-round prospect all day…and in the debate for a top 3–5 pick overall.

Here’s what I see to nitpick…

His size and speed, on paper, are comparable to guys like Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett…but looking ‘on paper’ to compare them – he’s a hair slower, a hair less athletic than those guys. He was also a slight bit less productive, statistically. Still great…all of them great, but Chubb is a step behind those names. He’s more in line with the size/athleticism/production of Emmanuel Ogbah (early 2nd-round pick of the Browns in 2016). And I think Ogbah falling to the 2nd round was a crime.

When I think of Clowney-Garrett-Ogbah…and then Chubb, and when I watch Chubb on tape and look at my notes compared to those other top DE prospect names – Chubb’s work isn’t as explosive or dominant as that of those guys I mentioned (and will compare for much of this report). If had to judge all four…I’d put Chubb 4th, but consider that it is a very esteemed group. It’s not a ‘slam’ on Chubb.

Bradley Chubb is simply not as good a pass-rusher as Clowney-Garrett-Ogbah were when they came out of college. Chubb doesn’t have a lot of moves and just tries to speed by his blocker. Chubb going one on one with a left or right tackle…not as impressive as I would have thought. I would think he’s manhandled a lot of blockers and that he got a lot of ‘near sacks’ – but not as many as I thought I’d track on tape. There are occasions where he motors by a blocker…but there should be, given his size-speed and the talent of many college blockers, and Chubb wasn’t a huge sack producer. He was very good, but not ‘great’ in sack production.  

Chubb gets some of his sacks from stunting…coming off/rolling from the edge and then running up the middle. When I first saw him doing this on tape I was so blown away by his ability to bounce around and fire up the gut. That’s something you didn’t see the Clowney-Garrett-Ogbah group do often. But upon further review…it makes me a twinge worried about his one-on-one EDGE skills at a high end. And we have to note…basically, the entire NC State defensive line group are legit NFL prospects, especially the DTs. Chubb had advantages many top DE/EDGE guys don’t in college. Chubb stunting up the middle looks cool, because he can run so fast for his size, but we also have to note he had great DTs making things very easy in the interior. Teams didn’t/couldn’t double Chubb that much because of the others to worry about.

I’m not pushing that Chubb is a ‘bust’ in any way. Far from it. I’m just debating if he’s as good as people have whipped up into their minds…and where I was with him initially. He’s being sold as an A+, and if you watch certain tape you will believe in A+ with Chubb. However, the more I watched, and when I started to compare numbers…Chubb appears to be a step behind Clowney-Garrett-Ogbah as an EDGE rusher. You may not be getting an A+ here, but more of an A-/A. Nothing wrong with that, but it may mean he’s not the top defensive player in the draft and maybe not the superstar heading to the NFL that everyone thinks.

With so many God-given raw tools that Chubb has – he’s an upside to coach up for sure. I’m pro-Chubb for the NFL, and as a high pick. I’m just not as high on him as I was before I started to study him deeper, and before I saw that our computer grades weren’t overflowing either. And I think I like him more as a 3-4 OLB than an EDGE 4-3 DE. I like his movement skills in pass coverage…he does have that upside over Clowney-Garrett-Ogbah – Chubb is a more fluid backpedaler and chaser around the field.

Chubb appears to be clean off the field. No issues. If there is anything off the field to worry about – he seems a bit silly…a twinge immature, but likeable, and not overly goofy. He’s just not the stone-cold killer you expect to meet when interviewing a top EDGE rusher.

Bradley Chubb, Through the Lens of Our DE Scouting Algorithm:

In the past two seasons versus his toughest opponents, Florida State (2x), Clemson (2x), South Carolina, Vandy, 6 games, Chubb posted 2.3 solo tackles, 1.7 TFLs, 0.5 sacks per game – so-so solo tackle counts, nice TFLs, weaker sack tallies. There’s a running trend through Chubb’s numbers…solid tackle counts, but nothing special + a lot of TFLs + weaker trends for sacks – comparing historically to the greats. He’s getting to the backfield well but not to the QB as much as you’d like (against stiffer competition).

I left out Notre Dame on the ‘tough opponents’ list above. He wrecked Notre Dame twice the past two seasons, once in a rain storm…3.25 TFLs, 2.0 sacks per game in two games with them. I think his Notre Dame tape, because he’s facing top OL prospect Mike McGlinchey a bunch, and ‘it’s Notre Dame’ (for analysts), is pushing scouts to love Chubb on another level…they see a guy that maybe didn’t exist against Clemson and SEC teams he faced. His great Fighting Irish games were not necessarily great games straight up against McGlinchey either…there were other factors and other people Chubb beat for sacks.

25.0 career sacks for Chubb…11.5 of them come against Boston College, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Louisville (10 games career against them).

It may seem like I’m trying to torpedo Chubb as a top prospect; I’m really not. Just trying to vet him…raise questions and try to answer or at least consider them before we sign on the dotted line.

2018 NFL Combine measurables…

6’4.3”/269 pounds, 34.0” arms, 9.87” hands

4.65 40-time, 1.63 10-yard, 7.37 three-cone, 4.41 shuttle

24 bench reps, 36.0” vertical, 10’1” broad jump

Comparisons to Clowney-Garrett-Ogbah:

6’4.3”/269, 4.65 40-yd, 1.63 10-yd, 24 bench reps, 36.0” vert., 4.41 shuttle, 7.37 three-cone = Chubb

6’4.2”/273, 4.63 40-yd, 1.68 10-yd, 20 bench reps, 35.5” vert., 4.50 shuttle, 7.26 three-cone = Ogbah

6’4.2”/272, 4.59 40-yd, 1.58 10-yd, 33 bench reps, 41.0” vert., DNP shuttle, DNP three-cone = Garrett

6’4.3”/269, 4.53 40-yd, 1.59 10-yd, 21 bench reps, 37.5” vert., 4.43 shuttle, 7.23 three-cone = Clowney

Best Seasons in college:

72 tackles, 23.0 TFLs, 10.0 sacks, 2 PDs, 1 FF (12 gms) = Chubb (2017)

63 tackles, 16.5 TFLs, 12.5 sacks, 4 PDs, 3 FF (13 gms) = Ogbah (2015)

59 tackles, 19.5 TFLs, 11.5 sacks, 2 PDs, 5 FF (13 gms) = Garrett (2015)

54 tackles, 23.5 TFLs, 13.0 sacks, 2 PDs, 3 FF (13 gms) = Clowney (2012) 


The Historical DE Prospects to Whom Bradley Chubb Most Compares Within Our System:

I think I can pinpoint Bradley Chubb in my mind with our comparison table. Not as dominant a pass-rushing force as Jadeveon Clowney, but a better football player version of Bud Dupree. A better all-around DE/OLB than Emmanuel Ogbah, but not as good a pure pass-rusher as him.

DE Score








Tackle, Strngth Metric

Speed, Agility Metric

Pass Rush Metric

Tackle Metric





N.C. State
























So Carolina












Oklahoma St
































*A score of 8.00+ is where we see a stronger correlation of DEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL DE.

All of the DE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Power-Strength Metrics = A combination of several measurements. An attempt to classify the DE prospect as more of a battle-in-the-trenches type of DE, a 'bull-rusher', and/or a DE prospect who has some DT capabilities.

Speed-Agility Metrics = A combination of several speed, agility, size measurements. A unique measuring system to look for DEs who profile more as speed-rush, stand-up DEs, and/or possible OLBs.

Pass-Rusher Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify whether a particular DE is likely to achieve high sack totals in the NFL. We know the 'system'/scheme the DE goes on to play in has a part in future success...but so do the player's skills and performance history. "You can't keep a good man/DE down," we'd like to think.

Tackling Rating = A combination of physical measurables, and college performance, graded historically for future NFL profiling. In the simplest of terms, this is an attempt to classify the DE as one more likely to be involved in a heavy amount of tackles, tackles for a loss, and forced fumbles. Lower-scoring DEs in this subcategory tend to be more pure pass-rushers/specialists. This is also our attempt to quantify, if it's possible, the 'toughness' of a player.

2018 NFL Draft Outlook:

As of this writing, I’m sensing a little Bradley Chubb fatigue. There’s so much emphasis on the QBs and RBs it feels like Chubb could slip out of the top 3–5 overall because of the needs of the teams drafting there – Cleveland certainly doesn’t need Chubb with Garrett-Ogbah in house. If Saquon Barkley goes top 3 and the QBs start piling in there…Chubb could fall out of the top 5 easily. And I wonder if teams are starting to cool just a bit on Chubb…I wonder if they’ve gone from A+ to A/A- as I am doing? I’ll predict he goes in the top 5…like somewhere in picks #3–5 overall with someone trading in if needed.

If I were an NFL GM and I had a top 5 pick, would I chase Chubb? Maybe. It’s hard to find EDGE prospects with Chubb’s physical tools. You couldn’t fill the need via free agency and this draft looks promising, but if the need were great, I could pull the trigger on Chubb. There’s enough there to get excited about. Would I chase into the top 5, trading away assets to move up for Chubb? Probably not.

NFL Outlook:   

Chubb is not likely to bust in the NFL. The question is whether he has a major impact. Emmanuel Ogbah and Bud Dupree are similar comparisons for us and they’ve not been on the tip of everyone’s tongue the past two seasons in the NFL. They’ve been good with brief flashes of great, but no one is clamoring about how great they are so far…maybe they will someday. I wonder if Chubb has a similar NFL fate…we get all excited because it’s ‘the draft’ and we fall in love with/choose sides on various prospects…because that’s what you do in a draft – but then 2–3 years from now no one can really remember why they were that excited about Chubb?