By Nick Shook
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INDIANAPOLIS — As a projected high first-round pick, Bradley Chubb knows his time in the limelight is coming in less than two months. He’s aiming for an even loftier goal once he actually joins an NFL team.
When asked Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine of who he molds his game after, Chubb selected the league’s premier edge rushers and set the bar even higher.
“I try to take Khalil Mack and Von Miller and put them into one person,” the N.C. State star defensive end said. “Khalil Mack‘s the more powerful guy, probably the best long arm in the game right now. Von Miller‘s the speed, finesse guy. Just try to put both of those together, have some power moves, have some speed moves that I go to.”
Measured at a fraction over 6-foot-4 and exactly 269 pounds, Chubb has the size to do it. The first-team All-American won awards for the nation’s top defender and top defensive end, as well as the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. His 10.0 sacks and, perhaps more importantly, his 26.0 tackles for loss serve as statical proof of his capabilities.
“I feel like I do both of them pretty well,” Chubb said of the skills he mentioned. “There’s still a lot of room for improvement, of course.”
The improvement has already begun. Chubb said Saturday he’s spent the months following his final season at N.C. State training at EXOS Performance in San Diego, where he’s focused on his explosion and cleaned up his diet, dropping from a thick and powerful 270-plus pounds, which included around 20 percent body fat to a leaner 269 pounds, with “10, 11 percent” body fat.
That’s quite a drop in a relatively short span of time, and could shine through when Chubb takes the field Sunday for drills and testing. It’s also crucial to his ability to rush with the speed of a player like Miller while maintaining Mack-like power.
Chubb received questions regarding how he’d like playing in Indianapolis (picking third in the draft), with local reporters peppering him with questions. The defensive end with a penchant for mind games such as towel pulling — “if I see something bothers you, I’m gonna keep doing it” — could succeed Coltslegends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, mentioning past study of the latter’s famous spin move.
Or, he could end up in Denver (picking fifth), where he could work on that superstar fusion by learning from one half of it.
“If I got to play with Von Miller, that would be crazy,” Chubb said. “He’s such a great player, such a dynamic player. Definitely could learn a lot from him.”