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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

Oklahoma Sate's Chuba Hubbard is not only a rusher, but he's also a threat out of the backfield and a kickoff returner, making him a potential strong value for a team in need of a versatile running back.

RB CHUBA HUBBARD

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 208 lbs.
Class: Junior (red shirt)
School: Oklahoma State


A former three-star recruit out of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. Earned the Jon Cornish trophy in 2019, which is given to the best Candian collegiate college football player. Hubbard had a ridiculous 2,094 rushing yard (6.4 YPC) 2019 campaign, along with 21 touchdowns, which led to his Big 12 offensive player of the year award.

He finished his three years at Oklahoma State with 3459 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns, 53 catches for 479 yards, and three receiving touchdowns. He was a unanimous All-American in 2019, First Team All-Big 12, and was Second Team All-Big 12 in 2020. Hubbard led the NCAA in rushing yards all-purpose yards and was third in touchdowns during that epic 2019 season.

Notables

Opted out of the tail end of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft after playing through nagging ankle injuries. The uber-productive Hubbard almost didn’t return to Oklahoma State in 2020 due to a public dispute with head coach Mike Gundy. Hubbard was upset to see his coach wearing an OAN shirt on a fishing trip around the time of the George Floyd protests. The two reconciled, and Hubbard played in 7 games before opting out.

Traits

He's a very productive back with excellent zone, one cut, ability, and vision. He carries solid overall size, is a bit compact, and somewhat lean in his lower half, but is still 207 lbs at six feet. Possesses good overall athletic ability; can jump-cut well using superior lateral agility and change of direction skills. Footwork is solid, and he’s light on his feet while picking holes and showing patience in the backfield; he’s smooth.

Can plant and explode downhill--shows very good vision and sees holes develop well; uses his blockers incredibly well. Oklahoma State used a ton of zone rushing concepts from pistol with power concepts in spread formations.

Hubbard had a lot of space to stretch outside, and his speed and acceleration were solid when stretching defenses horizontally before he plants his foot and explodes up-field. In power, he showed the ability to wait for blocks to develop and then explode downhill.

Low center of gravity and plays behind his pads well. He sheds poor tackling attempts and leverages his straight-line speed to get vertical - does well in space due to speed, change of direction, contact balance, and agility skills. He isn’t overly powerful and may not “move the pile,” but his contact balance allows him to break one on one tackles often. Seven fumbles in the last two seasons led to warranted ball security questions.

He is a capable receiver; he can catch passes in the flat and as a check-down option. Once in space, he becomes dangerous. His hands are solid while moving laterally; he catches the ball and gets vertical quickly. He is not the best with adjusting to passes that aren’t on target. He needs to improve as a pass blocker if he wants to earn consistent snaps in the NFL.

Overall, Hubbard combines speed, vision, patience, and enough contact balance to be a solid rotational option early on in the NFL. He was more effective as a zone runner, and his traits suggest that he will translate well in the NFL. Hubbard should be a quality RB selection on day three of the draft. 


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