Bradley Chubb is the type of player who looks for any advantage he can acquire. Even if that means a little light pilfering.
Several times during his college career at North Carolina State he was caught yanking a hand towel that was tucked in the belt of an opposing player, usually a quarterback.
“It’s just something I do to get in people’s heads,” Chubb said at the Combine last month. “I do it in light-heartedness, then it came to the point where I saw it really bothered them. So if I see something bothers you, I’m just going to keep doing it.”
Just like he did against Kelly Bryant of Clemson last season. Several times. To the point that Bryant became visibly flustered on the field.
“That’s just who I am,” Chubb said. “You can ask my brother. If I see something that bothers him, I just keep doing it. I saw that it bothered him. They ended up winning the game, but it got in his head a little bit.”
The playful edge rusher was selected by the Broncos with the fifth overall pick on Thursday night, giving them a player many believe can one day lead the NFL in sacks. And giving the quarterbacks in the AFC West one more thing to worry about. Not only will they have to avoid Chubb in the pocket, they’ll have to figure out how to do it while maintaining their towels.
In a draft class top-heavy with offensive players at quarterback, running back, and even guard, Chubb was the most exciting defensive player available. He totaled 20 sacks in the past two seasons combined with 44.5 tackles for a loss in the same time frame. He finished his tenure at North Carolina State with a senior year capped by being named a first-team All-American and winning the Ted Hendricks and Bronko Nagurski Awards for the best defensive end and best overall defender, respectively.
Chubb may not be just the top defender in this draft, but perhaps in the past two.
“Bradley Chubb is no joke,” ESPN analyst Louis Riddick said on the air last month. “I’m of the belief that last year if you were stacking him up with Myles Garrett (who went first overall to the Browns), play for play, I’m taking him. If they were both coming out at the same time I’m putting Bradley Chub ahead of Myles Garrett. I think he’s that good.”
Chubb has compared himself to two of the game’s most dominant defenders: Khalil Mack and Von Miller. He said he has the strength of Mack and the speed of Miller.
The rest is pure Chubb.
“I’m high motor, high energy, passionate,” Chubb said in March. “I’m a guy who is going to get after the quarterback or whoever has the ball in their hands. I’m running 50 yards down the field just to get the ball. I’m doing a lot of great things as a pass rusher, a lot of great things stopping the run. I’m just a guy who is going to play with a relentless motor.”