2018 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Sam Hubbard
School/Position: Ohio State, DE
Weight: 265 pounds
Hubbard will never generate buzz with his style of tackling. It is textbook technique. While boring to some, there is a quiet effectiveness to it. Hubbard uses his body to secure a stop. He avoids the “grab and drag” technique. Hubbard excels at preventing cheap yards. (The yards gained by dragging would-be tacklers). Tackling is the marriage of technique and force. In time, Hubbard will gain a little more power that translates into a thudding style.
For a defensive end, balance and body control. Hubbard arrived in Columbus as a safety. He grew into a defensive end. In Columbus, he gets by on non-stop motion. He gets to the quarterback with a limited repertoire of moves. Once hip to hip with the tackle, Hubbard wins. Facing a quick tackle gives Hubbard an issue. They are able to slide with him. An effective countermove ends stalemates and creates pressure. Not to mention, expanding the rush set gives tackles issues late in games.
Originally, Hubbard was recruited as a safety/linebacker. Hubbard’s breakdown is slightly above average. Most speed ends will overshoot the ballcarrier completely and are forced to double back to make the play. Once Hubbard draws a bead on the passer/runner, he instinctively shortens his stride and squares up. More importantly, Hubbard will not overpursue. Instead, he keeps The play in front of him. In reality, he stays within himself athletically.
Along with the breakdown comes with excellent vision and anticipation. Hubbard will watch for lineman splits and tendencies during the game. Lesser linemen will tip off the play unintentionally. Hubbard reads this key and pursues. He takes a sure angle, which results in a solid play. As a result, the play ends with Hubbard.
Hubbard plays keyed up and intense, but in a controlled sense. He loves to mix it up with offensive tackles. However, Hubbard needs to develop a meaner temperament. His intensity must transform into anger. NFL offensive lineman will test him early.
With Paul Guenther installing a defense predicated on the front four, Hubbard provides much needed depth. While he may not be a franchise-changing talent, Hubbard gets into the backfield to make plays. Initially, he could see time as a situational pass-rusher. With reps, Hubbard could evolve into a solid starter. In essence, the Raiders could draft Hubbard in the third round, giving the defensive line another threat. Granted, other d-ends possess more natural gifts. Yet, few will have Hubbard’s work ethic. In recent years, the Raiders defense lacked that intangible. As the attached video indicates, Hubbard improves during the game. Regardless of score, his effort doesn’t diminish.