One of three Buckeyes to forego a final year of collegiate eligibility at Ohio State this season, defensive lineman Sam Hubbard has been selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 77 overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft.
In his three years in Columbus, Hubbard amassed 116 tackles, including 13.5 for loss during his junior season. A second-team all Big Ten honoree, and a first-team Academic All-American in 2016, Hubbard’s journey to the NFL has been a unique (and oft told) story. Originally committed to Notre Dame’s lacrosse team, the Cincinnati native played safety in high school before making the jump to end in college.
Though a little undersized compared to other NFL DEs at 6’5, 265 pounds, his skill and experience compensate for the lack of size and top-shelf athleticism. Hubbard has been praised for the consistency of his play and technique, as well as his high football intelligence.
However, while his hand-fighting skills and strong rush help him against larger offensive linemen, his average speed and limited explosion off the line make him more of a grinder than transcendent talent.
That being typed, now that Hubbard has found his NFL home, due to his experience in Columbus, he has a chance to compete for a starting spot as a rookie.
Congrats to Sam, and good luck at the next level!