Bradley Chubb was enjoying one of what has felt like a handful of down moments in the past few months, relaxing between meetings and workouts, when his phone buzzed with an alert.
“I was like, ‘Oh snap! They traded JPP!,’” Chubb told Newsday on Tuesday of the Giants’ decision to deal defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul to the Buccaneers last month.
All of a sudden, the Giants were in need of a pass rusher. And they had the No. 2 pick. Chubb put the pieces together quickly in his mind.
“I didn’t quite think about what was going to happen,” he said, “but I thought about what could happen.”
On Thursday, something will happen. Chubb, the top defender in the draft, will be selected by one team to become their next menacing pass rusher, their next disrupter off the edge, their next quarterback nightmare. It may even be the Giants.
That’s something Chubb said he’d be excited about because of “the historic element of it.”
He also hit it off with the team’s front office and coaching staff, including defensive coordinator James Bettcher, when he visited the team’s facility this month.
“There were a lot of great people up there in New York,” he said. “The whole staff was cool. Real personable when I talked to them. I feel like it went real well up there and I’m glad I was able to have the opportunity to go up there.”
The opportunity to return could come on Thursday. For now, Chubb is in Dallas getting ready for the big day to finally arrive. He spent Tuesday signing cards and memorabilia on behalf of Panini America, the exclusive trading card partner of the NFL and NFLPA. On Thursday, just hours after he is drafted, Panini will create a new card of him holding up the jersey of his new team.
If he is selected by the Giants with the second overall pick, there will be great expectations of him. Not only will he be the first Giant to be picked at such a lofty position in the draft order since Lawrence Taylor was taken No. 2 in 1981, he’ll have to answer to the mandate of general manager Dave Gettleman, who has said that he must be able to envision the pick in a gold jacket.
“I’ll just stay true to myself and understand what got me here,” Chubb said of that pressure. “Keep working hard and doing the things that helped give me success. Don’t try to make something of myself that I’m not and stay true to my talent and my religion and everything that embodies me. Don’t try to change because of different outside expectations.”
Besides, having Gettleman see him as a Hall of Famer is nothing if he considers himself in that same frame. And he does.
“I definitely think about it,” he said. “But I like to set my goals little by little. My first goal is to get drafted and when that happens then my goal will be to earn a starting spot on whichever team drafts me. After that I’ll set my goal to get my first sack and then be the Defensive Rookie of the Year. I just set my goals little by little so I always have something to work for.”
Add them up and they may lead to Canton.
“Exactly,” Chubb said.
A look at Bradley Chubb’s stats from his four-year career at North Carolina State:
Year Games Tackles TFL Sacks
2014 2 4 0 0
2015 13 66 10.5 5.0
2016 13 56 21.0 10.0
2017 12 72 23.0 10.0