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2018 NFL Draft prospect profile: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

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Could Chubb be the missing piece in the Giants’ backfield?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After two years with one of the (if not the) worst offenses in the NFL, the New York Giants needed to address some serious issues.

Part of the problem has been an inconsistent (at best) running game. While the Giants weren’t uniformly bad on the ground, boasting a top-5 running game in the middle of the 2017 season, they lacked a committment to running the ball and struggled to find a consistent threat carrying the ball. Paul Perkins looked promising at the end of the 2016 season, but couldn’t replicate his success in 2017, a year in which rookie Wayne Gallman looked promising as well. In addition to a renewed comittment to running the ball, the Giants might also be targeting a top-flight running back early in the draft.

If so, could they be looking at Georgia’s Nick Chubb to add a power element back into their offense?

Measurables

Pros

  • Impressive lower-body power and explosiveness.
  • Has good balance and runs through contact.
  • Good long speed.
  • Good vision to pick out running lanes, set up, and follow blockers.
  • Patient behind the line of scrimmage, but attacks seams hard.
  • Willing blocker for teammates.

Cons

  • Lost 2015 season to a bad knee injury. Medicals will be key to his draft stock.
  • North-south runner and likely limited in scheme fit.
  • Struggles when forced to cut back.
  • Doesn’t have the ability to really sink his hips and explode out of cuts.
  • A relative unknown as a pass catcher in college.

Prospect video

What they’re saying

”He was smart to go back to school because he got in better shape and looked a lot better than last year. I thought he was special before he tore up his knee. I don’t see special anymore but I do see a solid runner.” - AFC Director of College Scouting

-via NFL.com

Does he fit the Giants?

Chubb looked like the seamless and obvious heir to Todd Gurley when Gurley first went down with a nasty knee injury, then left for the NFL. But then Chubb went down with a bad knee injury of his own, costing him his 2015 season. He returned in 2016, but just didn’t look the same as before the injury. Another year removed, he has regained a fair amount of the explosiveness that made him special before the injury.

Assuming that the injury is behind him and won’t impact his career, the NFL will likely hope that the further he gets from it, the more he will regain. However, it’s also possible (even likely) that he will never be quite the same again. However, the player he is now is still a good starting running back. He still has good balance, vision, and power, not to mention enough long speed to turn a missed or broken tackle in to a big gain for the offense.

The question of whether or not Chubb fits with the Giants is really more dependent on the Giants’ running scheme than anything else. Head coach Pat Shurmur has said that he has no use for a running back that can’t catch the football. Chubb has shown soft hands on the rare occasions that he was a receiving target, but he just wasn’t asked to catch much in Georgia’s offense. Of greater concern is his ability to play in something other than a scheme that looks to stretch the field laterally. Shurmur ran more outside zone than any other team in 2017, and that might not put Chubb in position to use his talents to their utmost.