A Look At Defensive End Sam Hubbard As A Potential Selection For The Detroit Lions In The 2018 NFL Draft
Sam Hubbard was a very balanced defensive end at Ohio State University. His technique was well taught and is one of the most technically sound at his position in the class. At 6’5″, 265 lbs, he could benefit from more bulk to handle NFL strength, but his frame is close to max.
His ability against the run was very apparent in college. He displays very consistent pad level and great hand usage. Swim move is very smooth for this point in his career. Has enough length to extend and peek into the backfield. Hubbard was very rarely out of position against opposing running attacks. His ability in pursuit is a little up and down though. While his angles are quite good, he is limited as an athlete. Showed average burst and first step as well. Top end speed never overly impressed on tape and took him out of run plays to the other side.
The Ohio State prospect consistently plays through the whistle and is persistent as a pass rusher. Hubbard plays with a wide base that allows him to reset quickly when his first move fails and he needs to counter. While not being overly quick or agile, he has shown an ability to move through traffic fluidly at times, showing he may be more nimble than he appears. Has shown enough strength to take on and split double teams as well.
How Would Sam Hubbard Fit In Detroit?
The Lions desperately need help on their defensive line. There is still time in free agency and in the first couple of rounds for them to get an electric player somewhere on the line. Even so, they were one of the worst pass rushing units in the NFL in 2018. Adding linebackers with pass rushing ability like Devon Kennard and Christian Jones is a good start. But the Lions have yet to find someone to play the left defensive end spot consistently since Jason Jones left in 2015.
While I do not typically like player comparisons, I saw a lot of Jason Jones’ game in Hubbard. He would be able to fill the Lions’ more balanced, run-stuffing defensive end need. Hubbard’s reliability would help everyone else around him like Jones did. His consistency will allow other players to take more risks, as Hubbard likely will not be caught out of position and cost the team. Defenses need different pieces to work as a unit. While it may not be the sexiest pick in the draft, the Lions could finally fill a big need late on day two with Hubbard and help solidify their defensive unit heading into the 2018 season.