The Cincinnati Bengals drafted Wyatt Hubert in the seventh round and while seventh-round picks don’t typically get much attention (if any), Hubert could surprise some people with what he’s able to do.
Hubert played college ball at Kansas State and was a shining star on their defense. He decided to enter the draft after his junior season despite not ranking high on most draft boards and while he did get drafted, he could have benefitted from another year at K-State as far as draft stock goes.
Production-wise, however, Hubert showed that he can compete against top-flight offenses in the Big 12. He finished his three-year career with the Wildcats totaling 94 tackles (33 for loss), 20 sacks, and three forced fumbles, and was the highlight of the K-State defense. Now he’ll have a chance to crack the Bengals’ 53-man roster.
Wyatt Hubert has a chance to be a draft-day steal for the Bengals.
Hubert was one of the Bengals’ four draft picks spent on addressing the defensive line. This was a major need for them and with Hubert’s eight sacks a season ago, he brings a pass-rushing presence to a team that desperately needs that kind of production.
It’s easy for us to point to any draft pick and say they’re a steal without having seen them take an NFL snap. With Hubert’s numbers in college, he’s an easy choice for many to do this with, and he’s someone I’m really excited to watch this summer because of what he did at Kansas State against some of the toughest offenses in all of college football.
The problem for Hubert is that he has competition as far as making the roster. He’ll likely be fighting with guys like Amani Bledsoe and Khalid Kareem for roster spots and even if he does make it, his main role at least during the first year of his career will be to help out on special teams. This is typical for seventh-round picks and if this is all that Hubert ends up contributing to the Bengals, fans will probably be fine with that.
Preseason is important for players on the fringe of being cut because it helps them up their stock and this is where Hubert can hopefully shine. He does have the advantage of being one of the Bengals’ 10 draft picks, which could help keep him on the roster, but he was left off of Jay Morrison of The Athletic‘s official post-draft roster prediction and that seemed surprising to me.
I watched Hubert play pretty frequently in college and was excited to see the Bengals select him with their final pick. Seventh-rounders don’t turn into stars very often and while Hubert probably won’t be a household name, there’s a decent chance that he becomes a popular player amongst Bengals fans, even if he does become ‘just a special teams guy’.
Fingers crossed that Hubert can make it onto the 53-man roster and go from there.