ATHENS — Everybody told Nick Chubb he wouldn’t have to wait long to hear his name called in the NFL draft on Friday. He didn’t. It was only about 20 minutes, in fact, before the Cleveland Browns selected Chubb with the third pick of the second round.
That was only slightly disappointing to Chubb. The second-leading rusher in Georgia history had held out hope that he’d be chosen in the first round. Then there was the competitive matter between him and his UGA roommate. Sony Michel did get selected in the first round, albeit a mere four picks ahead of him.
Between Thursday night’s first round and Friday’s second, Chubb sent out a telling tweet.
I am where i need to be.. this is where i thrive
— Nick Chubb (@NickChubb21) April 27, 2018
In the end, that’s all Chubb wanted, a chance to prove himself, and he’ll be able to do that in Cleveland. He’ll join former Ohio State player Carlos Hyde and former Miami star Duke Johnson. Sooner or later, he’s expected to take handoffs from Oklahoma star quarterback Baker Mayfield, who the Browns took with the No. 1 pick on Thursday.
To top it off, Chubb’s selection was announced by Jim Brown, one of the greatest backs to play in the NFL.
Afterward, Browns vice president of player personnel Alonzo Highsmith gushed about his team’s latest acquisition.
“I’ve been a big fan of Chubb for a long time,” Highsmith said. “You know, one thing about an SEC running back is you have to be able to create between the tackles. You have to play a physical style of football. Nick Chubb exemplifies all that in his running style. Not only is he a great football player, he’s a tremendous person, a tremendous individual, tremendous leader and he exemplifies what we’re trying to build here in Cleveland.”
Chubb wasn’t a typical early second-round pick for the Browns. NFL insiders were calling him the $17 Million Man, because Cleveland got him with the 35th pick they acquired from Houston in a deal in which it unloaded the huge cap hit from quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Georgia RB Nick Chubb was the $17 million pick, the most expensive second-round pick in sports’ history. Cleveland picked him 35th overall with the selection it got from Houston to take on Brock Osweiler’s contract.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 27, 2018
Georgia had another player go off the board Friday night later than expected. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter of Norcross was selected by the New York Giants early in the third round with the 66th pick overall. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound athlete played all over the field for the Bulldogs last season, finishing third on the team with 61 tackles, fourth in sacks (4.5) and second in quarterback pressures (17). He made three of the Bulldogs’ biggest plays of the the season: a blocked field-goal attempt in overtime against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, a forced fumble against Auburn in the SEC Championship Game and a recovered fumble late in the 1-point win against Notre Dame.
Carter and Chubb give the Bulldogs five players drafted so far in 2018 and 320 in Georgia history. Linebacker Roquan Smith (No. 8 overall), offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn (23) and Michel (31) became the first trio in Bulldogs history to be picked in the first round.
Chubb rushed for 4,769 yards and 44 touchdowns in four seasons at UGA, finishing as the second-leading rusher in SEC history behind former Bulldogs back Herschel Walker. But he likely slipped to the second round because many in the NFL questioned whether he ever completely regained his speed and mobility after a serious knee injury in 2015.
But Chubb still managed to lead the Bulldogs in rushing with more than 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons. And he ran the sixth-fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
The Browns seem unconcerned.
“I have no questions on the guy,” Highsmith said. “Just give him the ball.