Sam Hubbard 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview
Position: Edge defender
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 265 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes

Combine Performance Data
Vertical jump: 35 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches
Three-cone drill: 6.84 seconds (best among defensive linemen)
20-yard shuttle: 4.32 seconds
60-yard shuttle: 11.61 seconds (third among defensive linemen)

Sam Hubbard 2018 NFL Draft Profile

In 2016, Joey Bosa came into the NFL out of Ohio State and made an immediate impact creating pressure off the edge. It showed in the fact that he won defensive rookie of the year despite missing the first four games of the season. Next year, scouts will be sizing up his brother Nick regarding his ability to jump right in and become a pass rushing sensation. But for now, the focus is on Sam Hubbard. He’s the latest product of Urban Meyer‘s factory that continually produces NFL caliber players able to instantly contribute.

Hubbard arrived in Columbus via Cincinnati high school powerhouse Archbishop Moeller as part of a 2014 recruiting class that included another future NFL defensive rookie of the year, Marshon Lattimore. He also excelled at lacrosse in high school and was actually committed to play the sport at Notre Dame before choosing football at Ohio State. Scout.com rated him as the second-best outside linebacker recruit in the nation.

After redshirting, Hubbard spent the next three years as a nuisance in the backfields of teams in the Big Ten and beyond. In 2015, the lone season he played with Bosa, he finished with 6.5 sacks which turned out to be 1.5 more than Bosa’s total. He followed that up two seasons later with another standout campaign where he ranked no worse than eighth in the Big Ten in tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (7.0). It included a dominating performance in the Fiesta Bowl as he sacked top quarterback prospect Sam Darnold 2.5 times. Hubbard graduated with a finance degree in the winter of 2017 and earned first-team Academic All-American honors during his sophomore year.

Strengths

  • dominates at the point of attack with active and violent arms;
  • has the football I.Q. to be utilized in a variety of exotic looks;
  • matchup nightmare in isolation against opposing tight ends;
  • relentless and urgent pursuer of the ball;
  • patient with stunt moves inside which can punish overcommitted blockers;
  • not a one-trick pony – can win with twists, stunts, and counters;
  • has the versatility to play as a down lineman or upright edge rusher;
  • functional when dropping into coverage;
  • shows up in big games as evidenced by his performance against Michigan and USC in 2017.

Weaknesses

  • could play with more explosive burst off the snap;
  • play strength and ability to convert speed to power doesn’t jump out;
  • bull rush against opposing tackles doesn’t get enough push into the backfield;
  • can get enveloped and neutralized by physical bruisers at the tackle position;
  • needs to anticipate and react quicker when facing double teams;
  • lack of high-end closing speed results in missed opportunities for negative plays;
  • oftentimes bites inside leaving runners too much room to get chunk plays outside the tackles.

NFL Comparison: Ryan Kerrigan

Teams With Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins

Projection: Early to middle second round

Bottom Line

Many of Hubbard’s physical traits are exactly what scouts like to see out of a potential edge player at the next level. He also plays with a focused intensity and proved at Ohio State that he can make plays in the backfield both as a run defender and pass rusher. He boasts a variety of moves that enable him to shake blockers and wrap up ball carriers. The concern among evaluators is that not a lot of pure athleticism jumps out on his tape. And many elements of his overall skill set are good, not great. Still, he has all the makings of a scheme versatile defender able to line up as a hand on the ground edge in a 4-3 or a 3-4 stand-up perimeter pass rusher. Expect him to be a day two selection with a chance to compete for starter reps as a rookie.

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