Let’s be honest, this is a fun time to be a fan of the Miami Dolphins. They had some of the biggest trades and free agent signings of the off-season and now they’ve completed the biggest splash move prior to the trade deadline.
The Dolphins gave up a lot to bring Bradley Chubb to Miami and signed him to a big contract extension once they did. Reactions to the move have been all over the spectrum. Some have praised the Dolphins for adding the missing piece for their Super Bowl run while others have asserted that Miami overpaid for a mid-tier edge player. Like most situations in life, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Where Should Miami Have Concerns?
Many of the detractors will point out that Chubb hasn’t been as dominant of a pass rusher as his sack total and draft pedigree would indicate and they aren’t completely wrong. While ESPN analytics has been high on Chubb’s work in 2022-giving him the 3rd highest pass rush win rate among edge defenders at this point- PFF hasn’t been as bullish on the NC State product.
Per PFF, he ranks 20th in pass rush grade, 21st in total pressures, and 63rd in pass rush win rate among all eligible edge defenders in 2022. Those aren’t dominant numbers, even if his 5.5 sacks rank inside the top-15 for all edge defenders.
The other worry with Bradley Chubb is his ability to stay healthy. Chubb suffered a torn ACL during his 2019 sophomore campaign and missed significant time from 2020-2021 with nagging ankle injuries. When Chubb has been on the field he’s been solid but has already missed significant time at this point of his career.
What Does the Tape Say?
Many folks just parrot other people’s opinions on how good a player is or rely on PFF or ESPN to educate them. I understand that most fans don’t have the time, but the only way to know for sure is to turn on the tape.
To get a good idea of how Chubb is playing in 2022 I reviewed three of his games and captured film from two of them to share with you. In these cut-ups, I’ve captured all of his pressures, sacks, and run stops.
Denver @ Seattle - week one 2022— George Forder (@GeorgeForder3) November 4, 2022
All of Bradley Chubb's pressures/sacks/run stops pic.twitter.com/LFltOxiqJs
This game against Seattle was Denver’s first of the season. This is the kind of game I expect from Chubb going forward. He wasn’t a dominant pass rusher play-in and play-out but made some really big plays when it counted and was consistently productive.
Indianapolis @ Denver - week five 2022— George Forder (@GeorgeForder3) November 4, 2022
All of Bradley Chubb's pressures/sacks/run stops pic.twitter.com/YCM2oDCxIR
This game was week five of the 2022 season when the Indianapolis Colts visited the Denver Broncos. This is a great example of the kind of game Bradley Chubb is capable of putting together. One of the most dominant performances that you’ll ever see from an edge player, both in the run game and as a pass rusher.
Main Takeaways from the Tape
Chubb is an extremely well-rounded edge player. Most weeks he’ll give you good pass rush production (3 or 4 pressures and maybe a sack) with the ability to have huge games. He can win in multiple ways-with power, speed, inside/outside moves. He sets a good edge in run defense and makes a lot of plays in the run game. He is a steadily productive edge defender who can turn it on when his team needs him.
The Final Verdict
A lot of fans seem to misunderstand what kind of player Bradley Chubb has been to this point in his career. If you think Miami just added a Myles Garret or Joey Bosa level pass rusher, you’ll probably be a little disappointed. Most weeks he’ll be a good-not elite-pass rusher who makes plenty of noise in the run game.
One of the best things about Chubb though is that he is productive week in and week out. You’ll never find a game where he disappears, which means a lot. He’s also received nothing but glowing reviews from his teammates, coaches, and the fan base in Denver. Miami added a consummate professional.
But is he worth a 1st round draft pick, Chase Edmonds, a late-round swap, and the $22 million APY that Miami gave him for his five-year extension? Chubb is securely a top-12 edge defender in the NFL and is only 26 years old, but that figure makes him the 6th highest-paid edge in the NFL. What Miami has done though is get ahead of the contract extensions for Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Brian Burns, and Montez Sweat that are yet to drop. Chances are all of those (and potentially others) will surpass what Miami is paying Chubb.
There are concerns with every trade and signing, but this was a good one by the Miami Dolphins. In a few seasons, the expanding edge market and Chubb’s steady production and leadership will validate this move by Chris Grier. Bradley Chubb is a young player who has been very productive at a premium position-pairing him with Jaelan Phillips will give the Dolphins a potent pass rush to build around for years to come.