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Sam Hubbard Is Good But Will He Ever Be Great?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2018 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Penn State at Ohio State Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Hubbard, EDGE
School: Ohio State | Conference: BIG 10
College Experience: rJr | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 270 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round or 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Bud Dupree

College Statistics

Player Overview

Sam Hubbard was a 3-star prospect from Cincinnati, Ohio and he had the daunting task of replacing Joey Bosa in Ohio State’s defense starting in 2016. Hubbard was recruited as more of a true outside linebacker and weighed about 50lbs less when he arrived at Ohio State back in 2014. Hubbard has worked on his body and his game and is mentioned among the best EDGE prospects in this draft. He does not have great athleticism but he wins with his strength and power as well as his relentless motor. Hubbard plays square and with good technique but he needs to develop a set of pass rush moves to consistently be effective. Because of his lack of quickness and burst, I think the best spot for Hubbard is as a 4-3 DE. Hubbard says he can play 3-4 OLB but I really can’t see him in coverage situations and I think he would need Kerrigan’s role and pass rush on just about every down. He has drawn some comparisons to Rob Ninkovich and Connor Barwin and I can see the similarities. Hubbard has drawn praise from his coaches for being a smart and cerebral player and a hard worker. Even though he isn't an elite athlete he should be able to make a living in the NFL and have a few solid seasons and be a productive contributor to a team.

Strengths

  • Excellent size, strength, and power for the position.
  • Smart and instinctive player that has strategy and awareness which helps him make plays. He can read blocking assignments and knows how to exploit gaps. Wins his power and strength.
  • From a technique standpoint, his hands are his best tools. He has a powerful swat that prevents lineman from getting a grip on him. He can pin the outside arm of the OL and get by and finish.
  • Motor is outstanding and may be his saving grace from a production standpoint.

Weaknesses

  • Average athlete with below average speed and quickness. He is not terrible in space but if he goes to a 3-4 scheme he needs to be a strongside OLB and focus on rushing the QB.
  • Stiff hips that make him round out his movements he misses some plays because of it.
  • Needs to develop more advanced and effective pass rush moves to help him disengage and get into the backfield quickly.

Let's see his work:

More Sam Hubbard videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

I like Hubbard as a player but just like with every EDGE prospect that displays smarts, strength, power, but limited athleticism I think he would have to play on the strongside with Kerrigan. Problem is Kerrigan is on the field for 75% of defensive snaps so spending such a high pick on a player that is limited to one side of the field will be wasteful until Kerrigan slows down or until he hangs it up. Unless the team knows something we don't know I don't see that happening for a few more years. Hubbard won't do anything that wows you but he is a grinder and I think he will make a way for himself in the league as a 4-3 pass rushing DE. He isn't what the Redskins need right now but I can see him doing well and fitting in on a team like the Patriots, Eagles, or Panthers. I also think he could find a place where bigger stronger OLBs are used like Pittsburgh or Houston. If he can develop a set of pass rush moves he might produce at a really high level for a couple years.