Is Bradley Chubb The Pass Rusher For The Colts?
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INDIANAPOLIS – From playing more than a dozen years to also coaching for more than a dozen years, Frank Reich has seen the NFL evolve.
In recent years, the premium on finding a pass rusher has only grown.
“The game hasn’t changed,” Reich says. “You win up front. You win up front on both sides of the ball.
“You have to be able to affect the quarterback and no one does it like the pass rusher. No one does it like the pass rusher. If you’ve got one, you better hold on to him.”
The holding on part is something that NFL teams are starting to apply a death grip to nowadays.
Elite pass rushers simply don’t become free agents anymore.
In 2017, possible free agents to be Chandler Jones (Cardinals), Nick Perry (Packers) Melvin Ingram (Chargers) and Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants) were all franchise tagged or re-signed by their own teams, thus never hitting the open market.
In 2018, the Detroit Lions have already tagged pass rusher Ziggy Ansah. The Cowboys will do the same with 25-year-old rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, if a long-term deal cannot be agreed to in the coming weeks.
What does this all mean?
If you want a pass rusher in today’s NFL, you better draft the right one, and then hold on for dear life.
“People don’t let them out,” Chris Ballard says. “They just don’t. They don’t let them out of their building. It’s hard to find guys in free agency because they don’t let them out of their building.”
Now, Ballard says that acquiring a pass rusher doesn’t need to come with a first-round pick.
“The good thing about it is they come from all levels,” the second-year GM says. “They do. I don’t think you have to take a first-round guy just to get a pass rusher.”
When assessing the 2018 Draft, the pass rushing depth is very barren after North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb, especially when looking for an ideal 4-3 defensive end.
At 6-4 and 275 pounds, Chubb brings immediate every down ability to the NFL, piling up 54.5 tackles for loss and 25.0 sacks in his final 3 seasons at NC State.
Chubb will not wow you will Von Miller-like burst, but his motor and combination of speed and power are why he’s being talked about as the top front 7 player in this year’s draft. Chubb does compare his game to Miller (with speed) and Oakland's Khalil Mack (with power), while calling himself a "relentless pass rusher."
At the Combine, Chubb had a formal interview scheduled with the Colts on Saturday night. He’s definitely a fan of their switch to a 4-3 scheme, having played as a strongside defensive end in that system at NC State.
“A lot of people been saying I’m going to the Colts, but you never know,” Chubb says. “If that happens, I’ll be happy, of course, to get drafted to such a great city. So I’m just looking forward to it."
In perusing Mock Drafts, Chubb is easily the most popular name slotted to the Colts---which produced 25 sacks last season, the fewest for the franchise in a decade---at No. 3 overall.
Will that be the case when Round 1 arrives on April 26?