Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has been impressed with rookie Sam Hubbard and says he will contribute right away in 2018.
The Cincinnati Bengals seem to have high expectations for their third-round pick defensive end Sam Hubbard. The rookie played his college game at Ohio State where he became one of the best edge defenders in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Cincinnati was not expecting Hubbard to be there in the third-round, so when they saw him on the board when their pick was up, they couldn’t get the notecard in fast enough.
Hubbard first started for Ohio State in 2016 where he hauled in 42 tackles (13.5 for a loss), seven sacks, and two forced fumbles. He also shined in big games which is essential for NFL scouts with 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss in the Rose Bowl against USC. He finished his college career with Ohio State totaling 116 tackles (30 for a loss), 17 sacks, one interception, and three forced fumbles. Most draft analysts had Hubbard being a first to second-round pick in the 2018 draft.
The Zone Coverage Big Board ranks the draft rankings of every expert and is a great way to find out what a player is worth in an upcoming draft. The website had Hubbard ranked as the 47th best prospect in the entire draft, so I would say the Bengals got a steal with him in the third round.
Hubbard talked in an interview that took place at rookie minicamp about how well prepared he felt that he was. Saying that he thought that they were doing a lot of similar things to what he did at Ohio State. It would seem that head coach Marvin Lewis is just as impressed with Hubbard as he raved on about him in an interview with WCPO.
“He has been way ahead of the curve,” Lewis told WCPO. “We’re just excited about that. He’s going to really complement and add to our football team right away. I’m just excited because he’s probably out here a little mature beyond his years right now.”
Of course, it is a little early as the players haven’t even been in pads yet with training camp not starting till July. Hubbard will have an opportunity at camp and preseason to show how much he should be on the field for the Bengals defense in 2018.
“He’ll be part of our rotation in the defensive line group,” Lewis said. “That’s what I see for him looking into the future, very early right away this year. That’s what we were looking for when we picked him.”
It’s always good to hear a coach raving about his new, young players. Hubbard is someone that is a fan favorite as well being familiar to many fans who are also fans of Ohio State. He will add to an already stacked defensive end unit with Michael Johnson, Jordan Willis, and Carlos Dunlap. Add in linebacker Carl Lawson who will see plenty of time at the edge, and it’s a mystery how Cincinnati is going to get all of these guys enough snaps.