2021 NFL Draft: Chuba Hubbard Player Profile

Chuba Hubbard 2021 NFL Draft Overview

Position: Running Back
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 210 pounds
School: Oklahoma State

 

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Chuba Hubbard 2021 NFL Draft Profile

In a classic case of not striking while the iron’s hot, Chuba Hubbard had a legitimate shot at being the first back taken in the 2020 NFL Draft. Had he declared after rushing for over 2000 yards, had 21 touchdowns on the ground, and finished in top-10 in Heisman voting as a redshirt sophomore. Instead, he returned for a junior season that saw him be less effective all around.

Hubbard was a three-star recruit entering college, per 247 Sports. He played his high school ball in his native Canada, under Canadian rules, at Bev Facey Community High School in Sherwood Park Alberta. There he rushed for over 6800 yards and 80 touchdowns. He also showed then he was capable of carrying a heavy workload as he toted the rock nearly 500 times.

Hubbard ran for 740 yards (averaging 6.0 yards per tote) and seven touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. He also caught 22 balls for 229 yards and two touchdowns. The receiving yards dipped slightly his sophomore season but that was also his 2000-yard campaign. As a junior, he only totaled 625 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 4.7 yards per as defenses keyed on him and he dealt with a nagging ankle injury. He still played in bowl games all three years.

Strengths

  • Durable; never missed a start in college
  • Capable of carrying a heavy workload
  • Good agility and speed for his size
  • A smart runner who doesn’t waste movement
  • Slippery through lower body tackles

Weaknesses

  • No elite traits
  • Slight build for a physical runner
  • Struggles in pass protection
  • Regressed as a receiver in college
  • Ball security

 

NFL Comparison: Marlon Mack

Hubbard has the makings of a good, not great, asset out of the backfield. He has the foot speed and agility to beat second-level defenders but won’t hit many home runs. His receiving showed promise early so maybe all is not lost there. But his struggles in pass protection could ultimately limit what he can do. Hubbard is built similarly to Marlon Mack of the Colts but they played like opposites with the latter more prone to bounce things outside and showing improvement as a pass-catcher in college. Still, they appear to share a similar fate as committee backs at best.

Teams in Need at the Position: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projection: 4th-5th Round

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Bottom Line on Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard has the skillset to contribute right away and has shown he can handle the lion’s share of the carries. His slender build hasn’t been a problem but he has taken a lot of handoffs before coming into the NFL. The question will be how much tread is left after he opted out of the tail end of last season with an injury.

Running back is already a devalued position and Hubbard is somewhat of a one-trick pony. His ability to step up in the passing game, both as a receiver and as a pass blocker, will be what ultimately determines what his ceiling is.

 

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