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OL Tyler Jones relying on former roommate Bradley Chubb as Combine begins

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INDIANAPOLIS — Fifteen minutes before first-team All-ACC offensive tackle Tyler Jones settled down at a table at the 2019 NFL Combine to talk to the media, he took a quick phone call.

On the other line? A former teammate with a few pieces of advice.

Bradley Chubb, who played with Jones at NC State before being drafted by the Broncos last spring, wanted to share a few pointers ahead of Jones' media session on Thursday and his ensuing Friday workout.

Chubb, though, is more than just a former member of the Wolfpack.

He's Jones' former roommate. He's Jones' best friend.

And he's one of the reasons Jones could be drafted in a couple of months.

Jones saw plenty of talented edge rushers during his time in the ACC, but few were as gifted as Chubb, who Jones consistently had to face in practice.

"That's probably my best friend," Jones said Thursday. "It was fun. It was a battle every day. You would come to work ready to practice, or you'd get embarrassed. Because we were so close, nobody wanted to lose because you knew you were going to hear about it for the rest of the night."

The pair lived together in 2017, and Chubb had plenty of opportunities to prepare for the vertical leap at the Combine. Most of the training, though, came at unexpected times.

"I like to scare people," Jones remembered, laughing. "So I would come around the corner and scare him a couple times while he was fixing [himself] a water bottle or fixing dinner [and] make him spill his food a little bit.

"He was a jumper. He didn't scream. He jumped."

When Jones wasn't messing with Chubb, the two were pushing each other to improve.

"We both just came to practice ready to work," Jones said. "I think we helped each other in the long run."

Once Chubb moved on to the NFL, the former roommates remained good friends.

Jones said they talked almost every day last year as he encouraged Chubb to stay focused despite early struggles.

"I think he had a great season," Jones said. "I guess people tried to count him out a little early. He came on a little slow, but I just told him, 'Stay the path. Just keep working.' And he ended up coming on really strong toward the middle and the end of the season."

After a two-sack performance against the 49ers, Chubb needed just three sacks in the season's final three games to set the all-time rookie sack record.

Jones did his best from afar to push him toward that goal — even though Chubb fell a few sacks shy of the record.

"I was in his ear about it every day," Jones said. "I was like, 'Hey, man, you've got to get [three] more, and I need them [in] the next game.' We were rooting for him back home."

As Chubb approaches his second season, there's a chance the two Atlanta-area natives could become teammates again.

"It would be pretty fun, because of how close we are," said Jones of the possibility of playing for the Broncos. "I'd probably stay with him. That would be big-time, especially for our families to be able to travel together."

If that were to happen, the Broncos would add a lineman who played every snap in 26 straight ACC games and allowed just four sacks during his 2,903 snaps as a starting left tackle.

And with Chubb in Denver to push Jones to continue to improve, that could be just a beginning.

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