Georgia - RB- Nick Chubb - Football's Rorschach Test

Photo Credit: Ben Walton

Photo Credit: Ben Walton

The Rorschach Test, also known as the Inkblot Test, was created nearly a century ago as a method to examine someone’s psychological state and personality. The test consists of asking a person to describe what he or she sees in a series of inkblot pictures. The person’s interpretations of these ambiguous designs allows the Psychologist to examine that person’s personality, emotional state and detect any underlying theme to their thoughts.

Simply, you get what you look for. That idea perfectly parallels to prospect evaluation. Often times we already have a preexisting narrative about a prospect before we even break down their game so we see what we want to see. This causes us to view a player through a lens that might not be fair

Georgia running back Nick Chubb is a perfect example of this. Two years ago Chubb tore his PCL, LCL, MCL and damaged cartilage in his left knee. The play he was injured on was so gruesome that it should have had an NSFW (Not Safe For Work) disclaimer on it before viewing. Miraculously, Chubb was ready to go opening night of the 2016 season - a little over 10 months after surgery. In his first game back, Chubb showed little rust and totted the rock 32 times for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, that would be the highlight of the season for both Chubb and the Bulldogs. Chubb battled through ankle issues for much of the 2016 season and to many analysts and fans, he didn't look fully recovered from his knee injury. Naturally, this brought doubt into everyone's mind on if we would ever see the version of Nick Chubb that memorized Sanford Stadium in 2014 & 2015. You know, for every Willis McGahee there is, unfortunately, a Marcus Lattimore and Robert Edwards.

In 2017, now two years removed from his injury, Nick Chubb has looked like the back of old and to prove this I attempted to create a hybrid Rorschach Test. So, below I found 10 similar plays of Nick Chubb pre-injury and post-injury. Where the Rorschach Test part of this exercise comes into play is that I want you to ask yourself on each play is do you see pre-injury Nick Chubb or post-injury Nick Chubb?



Play 1:

Play 2:

Play 3:

Play 4:

Play 5:

Play 6: 

Play 7:

Play 8:

Play 9:

Play 10:

Now, I totally understand that each play isn't exactly the same, there are so many variables (different offensive lineman, defenders positioning, opposition talent level, score etc) and I selected 20 plays out of a few hundred carries but the moral of the story is that any questions about if Nick Chubb has recovered from his knee injury should be erased. For every great play pre-injury there is one post-injury complimenting it.

If the eye test wasn't doing it for you we can use counting stats as well.

Guess what player is Nick Chubb?

Player A: 183 Rushes, 1,057 Yards, 5.8 YPC, 14 TD

Player B: 166 Rushes, 1,045 Yards, 6.3 YPC, 12 TD

Player C: 188 Rushes, 1,026 Yards, 5.5 YPC, 10 TD

(Stats as of 11/24/2017)

If you guessed Player B, you're right. Player A is Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and Player B is LSU’s, Derrius Guice, both of whom are considered 1st round locks and two of the best players in the entire 2018 draft class.

Chubb's build, mature running style, pad level, jackhammer leg-drive combined with slalom skiing-like agility to cut is why he reminds me of a Marshawn Lynch and Jonathan Stewart hybrid. Both of those aforementioned players were first round picks in their own right and as a talent, Chubb is in that tier. Draft day will likely tell a different story due to medicals but don't get it confused.

Rorschach Results

Play 1:  Post-injury & Pre-injury

Play 2: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 3: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 4: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 5: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 6: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 7: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 8: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 9: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 10: Pre-injury & Post-Injury