Chuba Hubbard 2021 NFL draft

This Chuba Hubbard stat is pretty incredible

June 22, 2020

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard will begin the 2020 college football season as one of the top prospects at his position for the 2021 NFL draft. Assuming he stays healthy, there’s little reason to believe he’ll suffer much of a fall.

One reason why Hubbard is such a highly-regarded prospect is his big-play ability that’s often the result of more than just gaping holes for him to sprint through. In fact, Hubbard’s yards-after-contact last season were pretty remarkable.

According to Pro Football Focus, Hubbard gained 1,300 yards after first contact.

Simply put, that’s impressive.

It’s especially impressive for a player like Hubbard whose best trait is his ability to flip the field with his home-run speed. The fact that he can make many of those field-flipping opportunities for himself by breaking or running through tackles is a huge plus. It’s pretty easy to see on film, too. Here’s what I wrote in Hubbard’s preseason evaluation:

“Hubbard does a nice job running behind his pads as he navigates the line of scrimmage. He makes defenders earn their tackles and gains the ever-important subtle yards by falling forward after contact. For a player that’s barely above the 200-pound mark, he runs much harder than you’d expect.”

Those hidden yards, the ones gained by Hubbard falling forward or maintaining his balance for an extra step or two, add up over the course of a season. And when you add a few chunk runs to the mix, it isn’t surprising to see he had so much production after contact.

Hubbard currently grades as a second-round prospect on my board and it’s a pretty firm assessment. I don’t expect his game to evolve much beyond what we’ve already seen from him, which is pretty damn good. He has a shot to be a top-50 pick next April.

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