Chuba Hubbard is a running back enigma to most people as he burst onto the scene in 2019, and came back down to earth in 2020. This season was similar to his freshman 2018 season, and even if he played the same 13 games he did in 2019, he wouldn’t have scratched the surface of what he did in 2019. The Seattle Seahawks may just be in the market for a new running back as well in the 2021 NFL Draft.
However, Hubbard still can slide up the draft boards and make an impact at the next level.
Hubbard showed the ability he had in 2019 when he lit up the gridiron for 2,094 rush yards and a massive 21 touchdowns. While the NFL is going away from using just one running back for most teams, Hubbard with time, could be that guy. He has shown good burst., the ability to kick outside, and is not a small guy at 6-foot-0 and 210 pounds. What he has not shown is the solid vision need to thrive at the next level, or patience in waiting for something to develop, or the ability to hit the hole with confidence.
What Hubbard brings to NFL Draft
Too often Hubbard hits the hole when it’s already closed, and ends up bouncing outside letting his ability get the needed yards. Or just avoids the hole entirely. He also has a bit of a fumbling problem having 11 fumbles in three seasons, and three multi-fumble games. All of which attributed to his less than desirable under six yards-per-carry career average.
There is another large problem affecting Hubbard’s stock at the moment, and it has less to do with his ability more to do with the dearth of running backs in this year’s draft. With a deep class of running backs that includes Alabama’s Najee Harris, Clemson’s Travis Etienne, and Javonte Williams from North Carolina going at the top, there are a lot of options later in the draft.
In his first two seasons, he had over 20 receptions during both and averaged just above nine yards per catch. So he can be used in multiple ways. While he may not end up being that strong number one running back, his ability to be a good multi-use weapon is apparent. Hubbard could step in as a third-down back, or change of pace to learn and develop. Which I think is much needed for him.
He needs to learn to be more patient, hit the hole more aggressively, follow his blockers and not just assume his ability will get the yards, and hold onto the ball. If he can do all of that, he could blossom into a solid NFL player.
What draft capital would Seahawks have to spend on Hubbard?
Hubbard’s stock right now hangs in the balance of the pro-days. His speed drills and footwork drills will be what sets his stock up or down. Right now I think his best bet is the middle of the fourth-round. But, his stock could end up putting him in the third or see him slide deep into the fifth round. Not every player is going to be some elite talent, sometimes you have to draft players to fill needs as depth.
Right now there is not a ton of talk about Hubbard and where he will be drafted unless you are on Twitter. So there could be a lot of changes coming up for him over the next couple of weeks. This is another player where the combine would have been vital so he could show how he stacks up side-by-side to some of the elite running backs in this draft. His best fit is with the Seahawks, with his draft stock sitting around early day-three.