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2018 NFL Draft: Cleveland Browns Pick RB Nick Chubb at No. 35

Cleveland stays put at No. 35 and selects their running back.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the 35th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected RB Nick Chubb (5-11, 227 lbs, Georgia), with the honor of being announced by Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown in the 2nd round.

Scouting Reports

When the staff at Dawgs By Nature compiled our Browns big boards, Chubb was cumulatively listed as the No. 40 player on our big boards. Here is a scouting report from CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler, who projected him to be a second-round pick.

A four-year starter at Georgia, Chubb put himself on the NFL map with his outstanding freshman season, but his sophomore knee injury created questions about his future, appearing to be a lesser version of himself upon his return as a junior. However, Chubb produced senior tape reminiscent of his true freshman season, finishing with a 6.0 average in 2017 despite only two runs over 35 yards. Defenders better finish him to the ground because his balance, run purpose and lower body strength allows him to squirm out of tackle attempts. Chubb isn’t the most explosive runner, but he has light feet and skillfully marries his movements with his eyes. Overall, Chubb has a natural feel for the position and it is no coincidence that he finds running room due to his understanding of play design, patience and pace of action – projects as a capable NFL starter.

Here is what Pro Football Focus said about Chubb:

A top high school recruit (top-50 overall), Nick Chubb was dominant as a freshman before a major knee injury ended his sophomore season and threatened to derail his career. He was clearly not the same player in 2016 so this past season was an important bounce-back year, showing the NFL that he hadn’t lost the ability to dominate on the ground. Has solid power, cutting ability and speed and despite the injury was never overloaded with work in college. Chubb seems to have fallen out of favor with many, but could be a steal in this class.

Here are some quotes from scouts’ assessment on Chubb, as collected by long-time NFL writer Bob McGinn:

  • “Completely different body style and play style,” one scout said comparing Chubb to Sony Michel. “Chubb has more feel, little better vision, more of a natural runner. Versatile, tough, strong.”
  • “He’s a power guy,” said another scout. “Inside, between-the-tackle guy. I don’t see explosion or real speed.”

How He Fits the Browns

The Browns are still looking to extend the contract of RB Duke Johnson, and they already signed RB Carlos Hyde this offseason as a free agent. While that is an OK tandem, Chubb is an inside runner who can immediately become the lead running back. Johnson has primarily been a receiver anyway, so his role doesn’t change much. Hyde would be the backup running back if Chubb gets off to a good start in camp.

React Now

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