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Sam Hubbard, DE | 2018 NFL Draft Profile
Ht: 6-5 3/8
Overall Rank: No. 36
Position Rank: No. 3 Edge Rusher
Hubbard’s length, first step, change of direction skills, and pass rush plan make him an excellent edge rushing prospect, but he also offers the movement skills and awareness to play in space.
• Athletic Ability
• Change of Direction
• Initial Burst
• Use of Hands
• Competitive Toughness
• Mental Processing
• Strength on Angled Blocks
• Refined Inside Spin Move
• Over Pursuit
One-Year Projection: Sam Hubbard can start day one in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme at the next level. He is heralded for his leadership and intelligence. He is a rare athlete that will have immediate value as a pass rusher and an edge setter. He is tough, smart, and physical, and he will have a strong impact year one against both the run and pass.
Three-Year Projection: Hubbard can be a double digit sack defender who is annually in Pro-Bowl conversations. His excellent athletic ability and relentless motor will be major assets for him at the next level.
Former lacrosse player and 4-star recruit out of Cincinnati, Ohio, that provided excellent versatility for the Buckeyes by lining up as a 4-3 5T and a 3-4 OLB, while playing in space often. A scholar athlete with a long muscular frame and very good height/weight. Excellent athletic ability that is displayed by his rare change of direction / lateral agility and his excellent explosiveness, balance, acceleration, and foot speed.
Excellent quickness off the line of scrimmage, with a very good center of gravity and lower body strength. Very good ability to key and diagnose run blocking schemes. Explodes low to high and establishes powerful very good inside hand placement when he initiates contact, while showing very good use of hands to keep blockers off his chest against base blocks. Very good at setting the edge, with very good ability to stack and shed blockers and a good ability to anchor, with good play strength, while possessing excellent spatial awareness and rare agility to avoid cut blocks at the point of attack.
Very good taking on pullers at the point of attack, with a strong low base against Power/Counter concepts. Excellent quickness at the point of attack allows him to push the outside shoulder of reach blocks up the field to disrupt the play. Very good at recognizing inside rush lanes and reacting accordingly after maintaining gap discipline.
Hubbard could play either 1-gapping 4-3 5-technique, a LEO, or 3-4 OLB (SAM or WILL) effectively at the next level. His excellent athletic ability and size would make him a very good 4-3 open side RE, while lining up in a 3- or 4- point stance at the 5T or wide-9 alignment.
He would make a very good LEO in a base 4-3 Over or Under front, where his versatility and pass rushing ability can be utilized on the weak side of the formation. His best fit, though, is as a 3-4 SAM OLB in a Zone blitz heavy scheme, where his ability to set the edge, rush the passer, and stunt could be effectively utilized.
Overall 2018 NFL Grade: 7.99
9.00 Dominant Player. All-Pro Traits. Should develop into the best at his position
8.99-8.50 Consistent Pro Bowl Player. Gameplan changer. Very few flaws if any.
8.49-8.00 Will be very good player. Rookie Starter. Should have Pro Bowl physical traits.
7.99 Will be very good player. Probable Rookie Starter. May or may not have Pro Bowl physical traits.
7.75 Unique potential. Pro Bowl traits who needs critical technical development and consistency.
7.50-7.00 Can be a good starter you can win with. Should compete for a role/starting position. May be immediate
6.99-6.50 Functional starter in first 3 years who you should win with. No fatal flaws. Development needed.
6.49-6.00 Flash Starter Tools. Quality role player and/or Good ST. Emergency Starter
5.99-5.50 Quality role player and contributor for scheme specific teams.
5.49-5.00 Draftable player with intriguing physical tools or a functional role player to strengthen the 53.
4.99-4.50 Priority free agent. Has a couple tools that you want to work with.
4.49-4.00 Undrafted Free agent. Will go on the 90 man roster somewhere.
3.99-3.50 Invite to rookie mini camp. At least one intriguing quality to see live.
3.49-3.00 Off radar due to injury, size, position projection, etc. May be successful in CFL/AFL/etc.
Hubbard was solid. The 4.9 he ran at the combine is really indicative of his athleticism…which will be average at the next level. In order to make an impact he is going to need to go to the John Simon school of weightlifting and increase his motor tenacity (as that will get him there quicker than his 4.9 speed).
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