Chuba Hubbard burst onto the college football scene as a Redshirt Freshman in 2018, serving as a multi-purpose weapon behind starter Justice Hill for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. When Hill went down with injury, Hubbard’s star truly began to shine. The Canadian-born running back would go on to average more than 100 rushing yards per game as the team’s featured back, collecting 604 total yards from scrimmage in the final five games of the season.
With Hill moving on to the NFL, the OSU backfield became Hubbard’s to own in 2019. Hubbard did not disappoint, leading all of college football in rushing yards, and ranking third in rushing touchdowns. Despite currently being just a Redshirt Sophmore, Hubbard’s brilliant play has not gone unnoticed by NFL scouts and media, leading to much speculation of whether or not the running back will take his talents to the NFL in 2020.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has Hubbard currently ranked as his fifth draft-eligible running back on his latest 2020 NFL Draft Big Board sitting behind the likes of D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, JK Dobbins, and Najee Harris.
Tankathon has a similar view on Hubbard’s draft projection, placing him as RB6 in their personal 2020 running back rankings, with Clemson’s Travis Etienne the lone exception from the names listed ahead of Hubbard in Miller’s ranks.
WalterFootball pegs Hubbard as a second-round draft pick in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. In WalterFootball’s most recent Mock Draft, Hubbard is slotted to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 48th-overall draft selection.
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Chuba Hubbard’s NFL Draft Profile
Pros: Hubbard leads the entire FBS in rushing yards in 2019 with 1,936 rushing yards prior to his bowl game. While he did carry the football the third-highest amount of times this season in college football, being just a Redshirt Sophomore, he’s still got plenty of tread on his tires. He’s extremely effective between the tackles, possessing top-end quick-twitch movement and agility in the hole backed by a patient running style. Additionally, he’s shown the ability to be a serviceable return man, as well as a receiving threat out the backfield, most notably a season ago when he captured Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung Award (Outstanding Newcomer) serving as a backup to current Baltimore Ravens back, Justice Hill. A former high school track star, Hubbard shows good bust turning the corner, along with nimble, fluid agility as a runner. He’s proven to be a scoring threat from anywhere on the field. Hubbard possesses one of the highest ceilings of any eligible back in 2020, due to age, and minimal wear and tear. Jonathan Taylor has touched the ball 469 more times than Hubbard over their college careers. Those 469 touches are just seven fewer than Hubbard has registered over two years at Oklahoma State.
Cons: While he possesses a solid frame, I wouldn’t by any means refer to him as a “big” back. In a way, he’s still built very much like a track star. Standing at 6’1”, Hubbard has plenty of room to fill out, currently listed at just 207 pounds. His lack of bulk, most notably on his bottom half, is noticeable, and his inability to move the pile at times is evident. We’d like to see him lower his head more and take on contact when needed. Additionally, his play style at times can mirror more of a change-of-pace back, rather than a workhorse.
Draft Projection: Mid to Late 2nd Round
Hubbard posses too many positive traits for an NFL team to not fall in love with his potential at the next level. His ability to serve as not only a lead running back, but a threat in the receiving game along with the return game, will push him up draft boards. If Hubbard shows up to the combine with a bit more bulk on his body, while still possessing his track-star speed, don’t be surprised to see him sneak into the latter part of the first round.