Despite likely going in the top five picks in the upcoming draft, Bradley Chubb won’t get many comparisons to Jadeveon Clowney. They play the same position, but their style of play is different. Chubb, for example, is drawing comparisons to Chris Long.
At NC State, Chubb didn’t get the spotlight Clowney did in the SEC. Most people also weren’t watching Chubb’s high school highlight reel to the same degree the football world became obsessed with Clowney’s. So perhaps it’s fitting that Chubb had a Clowney-esque moment which no one but Chubb’s NC State teammates saw.
Running back Nyheim Hines, another promising NC State draft prospect, explained what happened one day at a spring practice in 2016.
“We ran an inside zone and the tackle went the wrong way, so Bradley just basically Jadeveon-Clowney-hit me like Clowney hit the guy in Michigan,” Hines told The Big Lead. “I’ll never forget getting up and throwing the ball at him, because we didn’t have complete pads on. And then I was like, ‘Well, I probably shouldn’t have thrown the ball at him, because now he’s going to be mad.’
“As soon as he hit me and I looked at the play on film and the way he got by the guy, I was like, ‘Man, that guy’s going to be a stud this year.’ That was before his junior year when he blew up. I was like, ‘Man, maybe I shouldn’t have thrown the ball at the kid.’ That probably wasn’t a great idea to make him mad, because then he had two [tackles for loss] right after that.”
Imagine Chubb (6-foot-4 275 pounds) teeing up Hines (5-foot-8, 190 pounds). It’s fair to say it would look a lot like this.
After that play, Chubb went on to enjoy his breakout junior season when he recorded 56 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass deflection in 13 games. Chubb then followed that with a stellar senior season when he had 72 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two pass deflections and one forced fumble in 12 games.
NFL scouts may not have seen the hit — which Hines said was the best example of Chubb’s “tenacity” he could think of — but Chubb’s body of work has cemented his place as the best defensive player in the 2018 NFL Draft.