Cincinnati Bengals to Protect – No. 8: Sam Hubbard
The Bengals spent a third-round pick on Sam Hubbard in the 2018 NFL Draft and he’s been a nice player for them. The Ohio State product had his best year in 2019 notching 8.5 sacks and 76 tackles and while year three wasn’t as good, the Bengals still love what they’ve seen from Hubbard.
Hubbard is entering the final year of his rookie deal and this is a move that would ensure he gets to play hard for the Bengals in a contract year. It’d give them the best chance at retaining him past this season instead of letting him play out his rookie year in a new city.
Cincinnati is hoping to see the 2019 version of Hubbard this year and the hypothetical new team would likely be intrigued by his 2019 film as well. Building a strong defensive line is critical and that’s why Hubbard is definitely someone worth protecting in an expansion draft.
Protecting him would also hopefully boost his confidence enough that he’d return to his 2019 form. He did miss three games last year but when he’s on the field, he makes it count.