Bengals on the Brink: Sam Hubbard
"“You have Sam, who has come into his own going into his third year. I’m looking for Sam to have one of his best years, a Pro Bowl year this year. He’s a leader, he works hard… smart football player.”"
Expecting such a campaign from Hubbard isn’t too far of a stretch from what we’ve seen so far. The former Ohio State Buckeye has exceeded all expectations, earning the most sacks out of his draft class to begin his career. That’s impressive, considering he wasn’t scooped up by the Bengals until the third round and was the seventh defensive end taken.
He’s coming off of a season where he accumulated 8.5 sacks. Considering the new circumstances he’s in, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him bump that number up to double digits. The addition of D.J. Reader will take some attention off of Hubbard, freeing him up to terrorize signal-callers more often.
Plus, Cincinnati shouldn’t be playing from behind as often this year. In 2019, opposing teams were less inclined to throw with a lead in order to protect their quarterback and manage the clock. That shouldn’t be the case in the upcoming season, giving Hubbard more pass rush snaps to boost his numbers and a shot at the Pro Bowl.