Player Profile: Chuba Hubbard

Height: 6’0”
Weight: 208 lbs
School: Oklahoma State
NFL Comparison: Raheem Mostert

Why you’re drafting him…

Had Hubbard declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, he likely would’ve been a top-four running back selection in a loaded class. Now, in a much lesser year for running backs, I’d be surprised if he was selected in the top-eight. No player has hurt their own draft stock like Hubbard did in 2020, but there’s still a lot to like about his game. Let’s go back to 2019 where Hubbard rushed for over 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns. He looked great. He had superb patience, excellent vision and looked nice and agile throughout the season. Hubbard also displayed amazing acceleration, and while he had a tendency to lose some steam downfield, was always able to make big gains off of the big holes. 2020, however, told a much different story. His numbers were still respectable over his seven-game span, but they were far from special. In that time, he amounted only 625 yards on 133 carries, adding only eight receptions and six total touchdowns. It’s not that I expect much receiving work from Hubbard, but reeling in only eight balls was definitely disappointing. However, maybe we have to give Hubbard the benefit of the doubt. He had an incredible 2019… had he stopped there, his outlook would be much different. If we can trust guys like Kenneth Gainwell, Rondale Moore and Trey Lance after showing out with only one season of production, why can’t we forgive a rough seven-game span from Hubbard?

Needs to improve…

Well, this is the big part with Hubbard… What exactly can he improve on? We know that his patience, vision, and acceleration are there, but the consistency with these is definitely lacking. As 2020 had shown us, Hubbard’s game is night and day. When he’s on, he’s excellent… but when he’s off, well, it’s ugly. One of the things I noticed about Hubbard’s game, even from 2019, was that he’s not fantastic at breaking tackles. He’s not a weak dude, but he seems to forget that he has strength and should be able to fight off defenders here and there. Even when he does manage to break a tackle, he loses virtually all of his momentum and is taken down almost immediately by the second tackler. His agility is also something I question these days. He dazzled in 2019, and while he wasn’t the most agile guy in college football, he still knew how to make a man miss. In 2020, this aspect of his game was severely lacking. On top of that, I’m scared of what his role on third down could be in the NFL. He’s a near non factor as a blocker and the falloff in the receiving game in 2020 is probably a result of that. We don’t know whether we’re getting 2019 Chuba or 2020 Chuba, but from what we’ve seen recently, there are a lot of red flags in his game

Prediction for 2021 NFL Draft…

He likely would’ve been a second- or third-round pick in 2020, but this past season was so bad, that I’d give him a round-five grade for 2021. Like I said, he’s not going to have much of a presence on third down, which leads me to believe that he’ll be drafted to be the third running back on a teams’ depth chart. It’s unlikely for a round-five running back to make any sort of real impact as a rookie and it’s not a trend that Hubbard will likely break. My most likely landing spots for Hubbard include New York (either one), Philadelphia, Houston and Atlanta

Dynasty fantasy football spin…

Again, I have to compare this year to last year. Had Hubbard entered the draft in 2020, he likely would’ve been the third or fourth back off of the board on dynasty draft day. But now, he’s fallen way out of the first round. I do think, however, he’ll be firmly planted in the second round of most 1QB leagues out there. The upside with Hubbard’s 2019 will forever be stained in our minds and because of that, I can’t see him falling out of the top-24 selections. He’s a grab-and-stash player, as I genuinely don’t think he’ll find a significant role as a rookie. I personally couldn’t justify spending a top-20 pick on him if he’s selected in round five or later in the NFL Draft. Ironically enough, my dream spot for him would likely be Houston, as it may be the only place where he could compete for a starting role by 2022

Check out Zach Hicks of Stampede Blue break down Chuba Hubbard with the guys on the Loaded Box Podcast (Hubbard discussion starts at the 32:10 mark of the episode)

Back to complete list of 2021 player profiles

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