From now until the 2021 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#30 Chuba Hubbard / RB Oklahoma State – 6000 208
- Very good mental processing; understands blocking schemes and how to move defenders out of gaps
- Excellent vision and gap choices
- Solid acceleration and gets to top speed quickly
- Able to create behind the LOS and make a defender miss
- Comfortable catching the ball and adjusting around his frame
- Can create after the catch and uses his blocks well
- Not a power runner and won’t break tackles with physicality
- Lacks an extra gear to run away from defenders
- Had ball security issues in the games watched
- Usage in passing game was limited to screens and short area passes
- Needs to improve on his pass protection abilities
- Career – 585 carries, 3,459 yards, 5.9 YPC, 33 TD’s; 53 receptions, 479 yards, 9.0 YPR, 3 TD, 25 KR, 553 yards, 22.1 YPR
- 2020 – 133 carries, 625 yards, 4.7 YPC, 5 TD, 8 receptions, 52 yards, 6.5 YPR, 1 TD
- 2019 – 328 carries, 2,094 yards, 6.4 YPC, 21 TD’s, 23 receptions, 198 yards, 8.6 YPR
- 2019 First-Team All-American (AFCA, Associated Press, FWAA, The Sporting News, Walter Camp, ESPN, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated)
- 2019 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year (Coaches, AP)
- 2019 First Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, AP)
- In high school, was a decorated athlete in track and field at the national and international level
In 2019 Chuba Hubbard had an amazing season with over 2,000 rushing yards and 21 and many thought he was going to declare for the draft. He decided to instead comeback for his redshirt junior season and things didn’t turn out as he had hoped. It started with issues with the head coach and then he fought through some injury issues before opting out before the season ended.
As a runner he played mostly in a Zone running system but it had Power runs mixed in as well. He demonstrated a very good understanding of blocking schemes and where his blocks are coming from. He displayed good agility behind the line of scrimmage to avoid early penetration in the backfield. He displayed very good vision and decision making on Inside Zone running plays using patience and subtle presses to move second level defenders. On Outside Zone, he also used his mental processing to press to the sideline before choosing the correct gaps. Once gap decisions were made he showed solid acceleration to hit gaps and had a knack for getting through small hole. On Gap/Power runs he was patient and made his cuts off of the blockers leverage.
He ran with good pad level and displayed solid speed to the outside and can find the cut back lanes. On the second level he demonstrated solid burst to run through high arm tackles and showed good elusiveness to use agility, hops, spins and jump cuts to make defenders miss. His vision to find the right angles to open areas once on the second level was very good. He showed effort to block for teammates on fly passes and quarterback draws.
Vs Tulsa this plays shows nice player manipulation on the second level. After running through the big hole, he angles to the outside to move both defenders that way before cutting back in to use the guards block to get vertical and show good contact balance downfield.
At Kansas, this plays shows off his very quick mental processing and decisions making. This play is designed to go to the right and he will read the leverage of the defense and make the choice to cut back in for the TD. From the end zone view, you can see how the defense has the leverage and gaps filled.
At Kansas on this run to the left his avenues are cut off. He hits the breaks and picks his way through traffic to the end zone. No reason he should have scored on this played.
Vs Iowa State he shows off his creativity cutting to his right three times before making two cuts to the left before finding daylight to the end zone.
As a receiver, the majority of his routes were from the backfield and was in the short area. He did line up in the slot in empty sets and ran the same short out route each time. His routes were screen, swing, flat, sneak and shallow crosses.
He displayed natural hands and was able to adjust to the ball well on the move. After the catch he gets up field quickly and makes good use of his blockers. He can create after the catch, finding lanes to maximize gains. As a pass blocker he didn’t have a high amount of opportunities versus a lot of three and four man rushes. He is willing to throw a chip on the edge or get in the way of free rusher.
Vs Texas, this is a screen to the left and he avoids a tackle for a loss and displays his creativity after the catch to wind through the defense.
Vs Texas, this was his best work as a pass blocker. The DL comes free and Hubbard gets into his hip to drive him past the QB.
He doesn’t have the extra gear to run away from defenders and doesn’t break tackles with physicality. There were 3 fumbles in the games watched so ball security is something to be aware of. His route tree was very limited with nothing on the intermediate or deep levels in the games watched and all but one route was from the backfield. As a pass blocker he didn’t show aggressiveness to get involved and rarely was put in one on one situations. He attempted a few cut blocks and only one that was effective and the chips don’t have a lot of pop to them.
Overall, Hubbard is a solid running back. His best qualities are his mental processing and his vision when he has the ball. Finding the right gap was big problem for the Steelers running backs last year. He looks comfortable catching the ball and did well on screens. He needs to improve on his pass protection. He won’t overwhelm you with anything he does but would be a solid number 2 or part of a RBBC.
Projection: Late 4th – Early 5th
Games Watched: 2020 – Vs Tulsa, Vs West Virginia, At Kansas, Vs Iowa State, Vs Texas