2021 NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Chuba Hubbard Profile

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Welcome to the 2021 NFL Draft Chuba Hubbard Profile!

A true Canadian cowboy. Hubbard, a product of Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada was born to play football at the highest level. After committing to Oklahoma State University and attending his first season in 2018, the running back sensation quickly let it be known who the top dog was at the university.

During his freshman season, Hubbard was so dominant he was graced as one of five finalists for the Cornish Trophy presented to the top Canadian student-athlete in NCAA football. The young man made a face in his freshman season and quickly rose to the top of college football.

But his freshman year was just a quick stop on his rise to the top. The second-year college star truly made a name for himself as a Sophomore. He was a unanimous All-American, the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, and one of three national finalists for the Doak Walker Award presented to the nation’s top running back.

The young Hubbard led the FBS in rushing while finishing eighth in the Heisman voting. During his sophomore campaign, he set historic marks all across the board. His 2,094 rushing yards set the second-highest single-season total in school history, trailing only Barry Sanders’ Heisman Trophy season of 1988.

The year 2021 is upon us, Hubbard is now entering the draft. Viewed as a virtual lock to go by the fourth round of the draft.

With all the awards, stats, trophies, and much more left behind as his legacy at Oklahoma State, he now enters a new stage of his career in which he is set up to light the NFL on fire. This is where the breakdown of Hubbard begins.

2021 NFL Draft Chuba Hubbard Profile

For more player profiles, rankings and more check out the rest of our 2021 NFL Draft Coverage.

Measurables

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 208 LBs
  • Year: Junior (21 years old)
  • College Dominator: 40.4% (90TH)

Measurables Breakdown

Hubbard isn’t the biggest or the strongest back. but one thing is for sure, Hubbard is one fast man. At only 17 years old, the former track phenom was blazing the 100-meter dash clocking in at 10.55 seconds – placing 4th in the IAAF World Youth Championship. For some perspective, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III who is widely considered one of the fastest player in the NFL, posted a 10.58-second 100-meter dash.

Hubbard is a bit undersized but measures up to someone like Kareem Hunt who stands 5’11” 201 pounds. Not a towering human, or even a big punishing body, but respectable.

College Production

Rushing & Receiving Table
Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Att Yds Avg TDs Rec Yds Avg TDs Plays Yds Avg
*2018 Oklahoma State Big 12 FR RB 13 124 740 6.0 7 22 229 10.4 2 146 969 6.6 9
*2019 Oklahoma State Big 12 SO RB 13 328 2094 6.4 21 23 198 8.6 0 351 2292 6.5 21
*2020 Oklahoma State Big 12 JR RB 7 133 625 4.7 5 8 52 6.5 1 141 677 4.8 6
Career Oklahoma State 585 3459 5.9 33 53 479 9.0 3 638 3938 6.2 36

Production Breakdown

The junior back has a lot of miles on him from his college days. 3459 yards worth to be exact.

Through three-seasons, 33 games, Hubbard was one of college football’s most productive backs. Hubbard took college football by storm in 2019, and he entered the final month of the regular season as the nation’s leading rusher. Hubbard averaged 6.4 yards per carry in 2019 for 2,094 yards with 21 touchdowns. He had 23 catches for 198 yards as well.

Hubbard racked up tons of awards during his time at Oklahoma University. Take a look at the list.

  • 2018 Russell Okung Award (OSU’s outstanding newcomer)
  • 2019 First-Team All-American (AFCA, Associated Press, FWAA, The Sporting News, Walter Camp, ESPN, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated)
  • Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year in 2019 (Coaches, AP)
  • Walter Camp Player of the Year Finalist in 2019
  • Doak Walker Award Finalist in 2019
  • 2019 First-Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, AP)
  • 2019 Maxwell Award Semifinalist
  • OSU Bob Fenimore Award (Team MVP) in 2019

A highly decorated runner to say the least. He’s arguably college football’s most productive runner. His departure leaves a major hole in the sport’s recognition.

Strengths

Vision/Patience

Hubbard’s vision is one of the best in all of college football. His fast eyes help him hit holes with precision. The junior’s vision and patience help the offensive line set up and scheme holes for the playmaker to run through. His anticipation for holes in the defense makes it so the young runner can enter into the first and second levels of the defense with ease.

The preciseness and patience Hubbard runs with makes it increasingly difficult for defenders to anticipate where he is going. Defenders often hit the wrong hole and have to adjust on the fly.

Speed/Quickness/Burst

Hubbard is one of college football’s fastest runners. As I mentioned earlier he was a track star in high school. His forty-yard dash time is projected to be around a 4.3. This makes his straight-line speed unmatched.

Once Hubbard gets into the secondary he is almost unable to be tackled. The burst and quickness is too much for corners and safeties to handle.

Hubbards quick first step and powerful plant of his footing make it so he can create quick explosive runs easily. The zone running scheme at Oklahoma State allowed him to read defenses, sweep through outside zones, and burst into the secondary creating major chunk yardage.

A quick-twitch and precisive change of direction skill make it increasingly hard for defenders to track down and tackle Hubbard in the open field.

Contact Balance/Acceleration

A short stocky frame spells trouble for the young 21-year old runner. However, he uses his small frame to take contact and remain balanced often. He also has a compact running style, running with slightly lowered hips and pads to help aid his contact balance as he picks his way through traffic.

In this clip above, Hubbard shows the ability to break weak tackles and use his quick feet to create extra yardage. Look at the way he moves, extremely smooth after taking contact, then he shreds the weak tackle and bursts through the holes for a massive chunk yardage play.

Weaknesses

Size

Looking at the measurables you can see that Hubbard is a small back. His frame is a bit stocky but just because he has a decent frame doesn’t mean that comes with weight. He only weighs 208 pounds which is extremely light for a running back.

Guys like Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, Derrick Henry, and Chris Carson are all above 220 pounds and considered to be elite-level backs. Don’t get me wrong, there are some outliers with elite backs that aren’t the tallest or heaviest. Guys like Christian McCaffrey are only 205 pounds and stand at 5’11”.

That’s a comparable size to Hubbard, but McCaffrey offers much more value in the passing game and is a bit more agile and quick than Hubbard.

Strength/Blocking

I want to start by saying although blocking is a weakness, Hubbard showed great strides and effort in trying to block. He’s a very tenacious blocker and is willing to give up his body to help extend plays. At the end of the day, his small frame, weight, and strength limit his blocking ability.

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You can see in the clip that Hubbard completely whiffs on the block allowing the linebacker to clobber the quarterback on a run situation. He isn’t the worst blocker I’ve seen, he has moments of blocking prowess but as a whole, he needs to improve.

A good coach can help fix a lot of the sloppy mechanics that Hubbard uses to block. If he can improve his mechanics he can be a more than capable blocker allowing him to be a true three-down back.

Pass catching ability

Hubbard struggles with natural pass-catching ability in the open field. He also struggles to run several routes in the route tree which is a liability for NFL offenses. Teams in today’s NFL are focused on timing and precision. With Hubbard lacking the ability to run all the routes in a tree he may never see the field on third down.

His weak hands and inability to rail in smooth simple catches hurts his upside in any offensive set. The lack of pass-catching will inevitably make whatever team drafts him extremely predictable on offense, thus making him ineffective for any team.

If Hubbard has any hope of seeing the field for more than just runs to sub in for a primary back, he will have to develop stronger hands and the ability to run more routes.

NFL Comparison

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans

I don’t believe Hubbard is going to be as good as Johnson but he shows a lot of familiarities as the NFL great. To start the blazing speed is something Hubbard shares with Johnson. It’s unknown what he runs but it’s estimated to be around a 4.3, whereas Johnson was a 4.2 type of runner in the 40-yard dash.

Both shared quick electric feet and smarts in the open field as well. Johnson was a nightmare for defenders in the NFL, his quick twitch, decisive mind, and blazing speed helped him get into the second and third levels of defenses. Hubbard has shown the exact same prowess during his days at Oklahoma State.

Johnson and Hubbard share a lot of similarities, however, the legendary back was a much better receiver and a slightly better athlete than Hubbard is.

Ideal NFL Fits

Miami Dolphins

The NFL is a revolving door for running backs. Matt Brieda and Jordan Howard are both guys who were sucked in and swallowed up by the cruel NFL landscape. Now, with both guys on the scrap heap, the Dolphins are left wondering what to do at the position.

Last season, Myles Gaskin was the leading rusher with 121 carries and 477 rushing yards. Gaskin is averaging 3.9 yards a carry which is currently 39th in the NFL right now. Jordan Howard, who only played half of the season, led the Dolphins in touchdowns. This team clearly lacks talent at the position, that’s where Hubbard comes in.

The Dolphins clearly value speed as they bought Brieda over from the 49ers last season. The veteran back ran a 4.38 40-yard dash time, which is blazing for a running back. Hubbard provides the same speed, better vision, and is much more of a patient runner than Brieda.

From day one Hubbard could make a difference for the Dolphins. To ease the pressure of their franchise quarterback, the Dolphins will need to draft some talent at the position. Hubbard’s game wrecking speed could slow things down and open holes for Tua Tagovailoa to run a lot more RPO’s and play actions.

San Fransisco 49ers

For a lot of the same reasons, the Dolphins have what the 49ers also have. Hubbard seems like a natural fit in a Kyle Shannahan coached offensive system. Speed seems to kill in his offense. He resurrected guys like Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman. Speaking of Coleman and Mostert, both are old and so are 49ers.

Well, both also enter the last year of their contracts, and neither can stay healthy. Insert Hubbard, with the lack of talent at the spot being clear, the 49ers may also look to add a talent like Hubbard. His natural fit and blazing speed reminds me a lot of Mostert. Just look at the speed comparison.

Hubbard’s burst is just like Mostert’s, nearly identically. The fit makes a lot of sense from a scheme standpoint and I believe he would fit exceptionally well with the 49ers.

Final Outlook

Chuba Hubbard’s 2021 NFL draft profile grades out as day-three, late-day two type of draft pick. His speed, vision, clarity, quickness, and patience are ideal traits for an NFL running back. He would make a great fit in several offenses. Teams like the 49ers, Falcons, Jets, Raiders, Chargers, and Cardinals all make for great fits.

His lack of pass-catching may really hinder his draft stock. If Hubbard can improve his strength and condition along with more consistency in the passing game he could pose as a real threat. His upside is through the roof but his limitations at the moment make it hard to envision him as a true NFL starting caliber runner.

In the right spot, Hubbard may be an Austin Ekeler type of running back. I don’t love his long-term outlook but in the short term, I could see him offering some value in fantasy leagues. If I had to take a guess, I don’t think Hubbard amounts to much in the NFL. Speed is very overrated and Hubbard doesn’t offer much besides that.

Projection

Running back two in an offense. Change of pace back.



Dynasty Draft position

3rd rounder in PPR, Mid 3rd rounder in Superflex


Also be sure to check out our Super Bowl edition of the 2021 NFL Mock Draft, as well as the Fantasy Six Pack Way Too Early 2021 Fantasy Football Mock Draft.

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