With the beginning of the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft beginning in less than an hour, the Cleveland Browns are being linked to a SEC running back. But it is not Derrius Guice, the LSU running back that was expected to be selected in the first round. Instead, it is Georgia running back Nick Chubb.
The first report came from Jason La Canfora, saying that if the Browns keep both the 33rd and 35th overall picks, Chubb is a player that the Browns front office are fond of. The next report came from The MMQB’s Albert Breer during an interview with 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, saying he would expect the Browns selecting Chubb instead of Guice.
If the Browns keep both their top picks tonight, hearing Nick Chubb is someone they are high on …
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 27, 2018
— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) April 27, 2018
As a freshman in 2014, it appeared that Chubb was going to be the next stud running back to enter the NFL. But after he tore his MCL, PCL, and LCL in his left knee in 2015, Chubb never regained the hype he received as a freshman. But Chubb continued to excel at the college level.
In 2017, the Georgia running back rushed the ball 223 times for 1,345 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is a strong runner that carries low pads, allowing him to break through tacklers when running between the tackles. He has great footwork, and reads his blockers to set-up multiple running lanes.
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Chubb does not have breakaway speed and is not seen as an explosive runner. But he did run a 4.52 40-yard dash, which is a solid time for a 5-foot-10, 227 pound running back. There are also concerns about his health following such a severe knee injury. However, he played in 28 games the two seasons following his injury. Playing in deep backfields helped him maintain his health, as he rarely had more than 20 touches his senior season.
But if he were drafted by the Browns, he would not have to be a featured back. Chubb would join a solid running back group with Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson.
The question is if the Browns are so high on Chubb and do wish to select him, where would they select him. They have three picks in the second round, selecting 33, 35, and 64. Chubb was expected to be a second round pick, but may not be available for Cleveland at 64. So if the Browns want Chubb, they may need to select him with one of the two early picks in the second round.