Friday, January 28, 2022

Sam Hubbard—Pretty Darn Good

 By John Turney 

Not every defensive end has to have double-digit sacks to be a useful, contributing player. Sam Hubbard is one of those kinds of players.

Look for him to have some impact in the AFCG against the Chiefs. In our view, their right tackle is somewhat suspect and that is who Hubbard will line up against

At his pro day in 2018, he ran a 4.95 forty, not great for an edge rusher but his numbers in the drills at the NFL Combine we very good. His three-cone time was 6.84 seconds, his short-shuttle was 4.32, his vertical leap was 35 inches. Those agility numbers and the leap exceeded Chris Long who was a #2 overall pick in 2008. 

As a rookie, we named him Second-team All-Pro (behind Chris Long) and All-AFC as a nickel rusher. Our definition of a nickel rusher is a player who is not a starter but plays on passing downs. We always pick the best players who fill that role. 

The year after he recorded a career-high 76 tackles and 8.5 sacks before having somewhat of a slump in 2020. But this year, after averaging about 16 pressures a season in his career, he had 39—players like T.J. Watt, Nick Bosa, and Myles Garrett were all just a bit over 50. 

The Bengals have a few fronts they play, mostly a 4-3, but will mix in a 5-1 with Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson standing up as rushers but if one of them is the "Jack" the player opposite the nickel back he might drop into coverage. Hubbard and Hendrickson are both athletic enough to do that. 

So, when watching keep an eye out for Hubbard, he's a player who'd fit into the All-Joe-type of player, if you remember those teams chosen by USA Today's Larry Weisman. And we think he will play well Sunday. 

1 comment:

  1. His sacks on Mahomes with the Chiefs having a chance to win in regulation were huge ...