The Dallas Cowboys aren't looking to find a day one starter at running back in this draft like they were when they selected Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, running back might be an underrated need for this team come April.
Behind Elliott the Cowboys had Alfred Morris (contract expired), Rod Smith and Darren McFadden (retired). So would the team use some of their draft capital to take a high caliber runner to be their third back?
Of note, the Cowboys love the fullback position. That could be where Smith finds himself yet again for the upcoming season. Their starting fullback, Keith Smith did not receive a tender and isn’t under contract with Dallas for the upcoming season as of yet. So that could open up a spot for the backup running back.
Enter Nick Chubb from Georgia into the equation.
Height: 5’ 10 7/8”
Hand size: 9 5/8”
Arm length: 32”
40 time: 4.52 seconds (Tied for 6th best at position)
Bench: 29 reps (Tied for 1st best at position)
Vertical jump: 38.5” (Tied for 4th best at position)
Broad jump: 128” (2nd best at position)
Fr: 13 Games, 219 Rush, 1,547 Yards, 7.1 Avg, 14 TDs
So: 6 Games, 92 Rush, 747 Yards, 8.1 Avg, 7 TDs
Jr: 13 Games, 224 Rush, 1,130 Yards, 5.0 Avg, 8 TDs
Sr: 15 Games, 223 Rush, 1,345 Yards, 6.0 Avg, 15 TDs
Total: 47 Games, 758 Rec, 4,769 Yards, 6.3 Avg, 44 TDs
Fr: 13 Games, 18 Rec, 213 Yards, 11.8 Avg, 2 TDs
So: 6 Games, 4 Rec, 32 Yards, 8.0 Avg, 1 TDs
Jr: 13 Games, 5 Rec, 86 Yards, 17.2 Avg, 1 TDs
Sr: 15 Games, 4 Rec, 80 Yards, 7.5 Avg, 0 TDs
Total: 47 Games, 31 Rec, 361 Yards, 11.6 Avg, 4 TDs
Chubb is a very physical runner who some didn’t think had breakaway speed. He was clocked just .05 of a second slower than Elliott’s time at the 2016 Combine. What he does just as well as Elliott is yards after contact. He punishes defenses with every carry. Most notably, Chubb refuses to go down after first or second contact which usually results in big runs for the offense. Those chain-moving runs were missing for the Cowboys when Elliott was suspended for six games last year.
The Georgia Bulldogs’ running back runs with a lot of power. He has tremendous lower body strength which allows him to shrug off tackle attempts and getting to the second level. A good example of this is against Oklahoma where Chubb fought off a defensive lineman who goes high, then another defender who attempts to take him down low. What Chubb then does is uses his speed to get into the third level en route to a touchdown.
Again, is it not all about the contact with Chubb. He isn’t looking for it, but he will punish defenders who want to take him on. Chubb shows good vision in finding the hole and also shows the burst to fire through the line. Often times, Chubb's running style is reminiscent of Marshawn Lynch.
The Dallas Cowboys got their man in Ezekiel Elliott in 2016, but adding Nick Chubb would give them a good one-two punch at running back. Chubb, provided his medical evaluations look clean, will likely need to fall to the fourth round for Dallas to snag him.
Would you use a fourth rounder to pick up Nick Chubb or do you feel like Dallas is set at running back? Share your thoughts with Patrick on Twitter @DraftCowboys.