It was a memorable visual from NC State’s pro day. Legendary New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, long acknowledged as a NFL defensive genius, hovering over the Wolfpack’s quintet of defensive linemen working out for NFL scouts.
The group included former defensive tackle Monty Nelson as well as the four starters from last year’s team — ends Bradley Chubb and Kentavius Street, plus tackles B.J. Hill and Justin Jones. Chubb is the obvious headliner of the group. Projections for Chubb range anywhere from No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft to the New York Giants to no later than No. 6 to the Indianapolis Colts.
Belichick told Chubb when the workout was over that his team has no chance of getting him in the draft. That didn’t stop from ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick from dreaming about it.
“If Bill Belichick could ever get his hands on a guy like Bradley Chubb, look out,” Riddick said during a conference call held by ESPN Monday. “It’d be lights out.”
Riddick is a former NFL safety who followed up his playing career by spending 13 years as either a scout or in the front offices of the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles before making the move to an ESPN analyst.
The reason why Riddick fantasizes about what Belichick could do with a talent like Chubb is why he also thinks that if he was the general manager of the New York Giants and picking second April 26, he would take either Chubb or Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
Riddick noted that Chubb has the capability to play in just about any scheme.
“The same way that they [play] Chandler Jones down there in Arizona,” he said. “They can play a 3-4, or play a 4-3 and stand the guy up and make it look like a 3-4 — that’s the kind of guy that Bradley Chubb is.”
Jones would be a lofty comparison for Chubb. Ironically, in four seasons with Belichick and the Patriots, Jones had 36 sacks before moving onto the Arizona Cardinals. After recording 11 sacks in his first season with the Cards, he had 17 last fall.
Riddick thinks highly of Chubb, noting he rates him higher than last year’s first overall draft choice, defensive end Myles Garrett of Texas A&M, who was picked by the Cleveland Browns. Garrett had seven sacks in 11 games during his rookie season.
However, Riddick’s ultimate pick would be Barkley if he was in charge of the Giants.
“I think that would be my pick, and it would be hard because I tell you what, there is another guy who I think will project very, very well into the scheme … and that’s obviously Bradley Chubb,” Riddick noted.