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5 reasons to be excited the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard

The former lacrosse standout has followed his football path straight to the NFL.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Ohio State vs Southern California Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With the No. 77 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals picked edge defender Sam Hubbard out of Ohio State. While he didn’t end up as a first round (or second round) pick, Hubbard will continuing playing football in the Buckeye State, joining teammate Billy Price in the Queen City.

So, why should you be excited the Bengals drafted Hubbard? We’ve got you covered:

1. Hubbard transformed himself into an elite defensive end

Standing at a chiseled 6’5, 270 lbs, Hubbard is a late bloomer compared to most, yet he made an immediate impact at Ohio State. The former Notre Dame lacrosse commit was also a safety in high school, before he added close to 100 lbs to his frame. Yes, the two year starter (one year behind Joey Bosa) at defensive end was once a 6’4, 187 lb lacrosse player/safety in high school. It takes a lot of hard work to build yourself into an every down Big Ten defensive end.

2. Availability is the best ability

A player who prepares himself at the level that Hubbard does, it’s no surprise that he’s played in every game during his three seasons at Ohio State. His measurables not only pass the eyeball test, but it’s also a big reason as to why he doesn’t miss games. His tape could be flashier and his stats could be a little better, but he’s playing almost every down on an absolutely loaded defensive line. Hubbard is not going to be one to sit in the cold tub and be complacent as an early round pick. He’s going to improve and be there everyday.

3. Constant improvement

If you take a peep at Hubbard’s stat line, he’s improved every single year. His solo tackles, his sacks, his tackles for loss and his forced fumbles all improved over Hubbard’s three seasons. If you keep in mind that he’s still relatively new at the position, his improvement should come to no surprise. His hard work and dedication to his craft only means that he will continue to improve and continue to a better defensive end at the NFL level.

4. Hubbard once ate Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley... at the same time

Barkley is considered the most ‘can’t miss’ prospect of this draft and the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. However, Hubbard once destroyed both Barkley and his quarterback on the same play, which also happened to fuel his Buckeyes to their amazing comeback win over Penn State. Hubbard finished that game with four tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.

5. Hubbard tormented a top quarterback

Not only will Saquon Barkley have nightmares about Hubbard, but one of, if not the best quarterback in this class, Sam Darnold, will also have nightmares about the Ohio State defensive end. Hubbard racked up a whopping 2.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and four total tackles in Ohio State’s domination of USC in this year’s Cotton Bowl. Darnold was under siege all night and Hubbard got the best of the talented USC offensive line and their signal caller. Let’s see if Hubbard can hit Darnold a few times in the NFL.

Any concerns about Hubbard?

Some. Although he rebuilt his body to become an All-Big Ten defensive end in Ohio State’s 4-3 scheme, he still looks like he could play outside linebacker. Will he be able to set the edge at the NFL level against the best offensive tackles in the world? He improved against the run every single season, but that will be a big question. And although he can rush the passer with speed, he’ll need to add more to his pass rushing arsenal to truly be counted on as an every down defensive end the league.


Will Hubbard be a rookie starter on the Bengal defense?

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