Depending on who you would’ve asked in 2019, Hubbard may have potentially pushed for early Day 2 NFL Draft capital. He was just coming off of a 2,000+ yard season with 21 total touchdowns for Oklahoma State that caught the attention of NFL scouts, media, and fans alike.
However, Hubbard elected to stay at school for the 2020 CFB season, and things didn’t exactly work out the way that he may have hoped. Hubbard experienced an offensive coordinator switch from Sean Gleeson to Kasey Dunn in 2020, and the production took an absolute nosedive. Hubbard didn’t even cross 650 yards on the ground and failed to make much of an impact when he was on the field.
Now, Hubbard has plenty of questions surrounding him and his projection to the NFL. Can an NFL offensive coordinator unlock the skills again at the next level that led to his 2000+ yard season? What does this dip in production do for his fantasy football outlook?
These questions can be answered here in our detailed scouting profile on Chuba Hubbard:
Chuba Hubbard (RB – Oklahoma State)
Weight: 210 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.48
Vertical Jump: 36
Broad Jump: 120
Bench: 20 Reps
Short Shuttle: 4.26
3-Cone Drill: 7.24
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Vision (70): Hubbard’s a difficult case study due to the dramatic drop-off in production from 2019 to 2020. In 2019, he showed excellent vision as an outside zone runner that was able to identify the open lane, plant his foot in the ground, and get upfield quickly. However, in 2020, Oklahoma State moved away from heavy outside zone runs and forced Hubbard to navigate traffic between the tackles. Unfortunately, he simply doesn’t have the vision to recognize the open lanes, and he has trouble with lateral agility, which hinders his ability to move from gap to gap. He can have success in the NFL in an outside zone scheme, but if he’s asked to work between the tackles, he’s unlikely to make any sort of impact at the next level.
Burst (77): Tremendous acceleration and burst. Able to go from 0-60 like few other players in this class when he finds the open field. In his 2019 tape, he was consistently pulling away from defenders in the open field and breaking angles. The opportunities to get to the open field were few and far between in 2020, but the athleticism is still in his arsenal.
Change of Direction (71): Very poor lateral change of direction ability. Has a tough time throttling down his momentum and going east-to-west. He needs to be able to operate off of momentum versus navigating in traffic left to right.
Power (70): At his size, there’s little to no power aspect to his game. Plays with a high pad level and struggles to move defenders when he engages with them. He’s certainly more of a finesse player than a bruising running back.
Speed (78): Olympic sprinter speed, and it shows up routinely on his 2019 tape. When he’s able to find daylight, he’s simply not going to be caught from behind. There seemed to be a drop-off in his 2020 tape in this area, but the tools are there.
Contact Balance (76): Able to shed tackles from time to time but does tend to run upright, which opens up more space for defenders to attempt to make tackles. Can improve on this area and will need to in order to stick around in the NFL.
Pass Catching (72): Won’t be a liability in this department in the NFL, but was used sparingly in this role this past season. Shows natural receiving ability but most likely won’t be soaking up targets at the next level.
Pass Protection (60): A complete liability in pass protection. Tends to drop his eyes and lose sight of the incoming pressure. Simply doesn’t have the size to stand in and embrace contact.
Here’s a clip from 2019 showcasing Hubbard’s top-end speed.
Chuba Hubbard is faster than….well everyone.
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) September 29, 2019
CHUBA HUBBARD OH MY GOODNESS
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) October 24, 2020
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
If Hubbard had come out in 2019, there’s a strong possibility that he would’ve been drafted within the first three rounds. Unfortunately, with the 2020 drastic drop-off in production, NFL teams are going to be extremely nervous about using significant draft capital on the explosive running back. There’s a strong possibility that Hubbard goes off the board in the fifth round or later.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
Hubbard’s skillset fits best with a heavy outside zone scheme, which is what you’ll see when you watch the San Francisco 49ers. The Jets will also be running this type of scheme under Mike LaFleur, so keep an eye on those two teams to land Hubbard in the NFL Draft. The only question will be whether or not the draft capital is significant enough to warrant him being given any sort of opportunity.
Raheem Mostert might have just a little bit more juice to his game than Hubbard, but the playstyle is going to be very similar at the NFL level. Mostert is at his best when he’s able to go east-to-west, plant his foot in the ground, and then accelerate around the corner. This reminds me a ton of Hubbard. It’s a bit of a projection, but the skill sets are very similar, and Hubbard might have to follow Mostert’s NFL path to relevancy if he ends up being a late round draft pick.