Projecting Where Chuba Hubbard Will Be Drafted After Day 1 of 2021 NFL Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard (30) carries during an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The era of a number of running backs consistently going in the first round of the NFL draft is over, but that means there is still plenty of talent remaining heading into the later rounds.

One of those talented players is Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard

The 21-year-old played three years with the Cowboys and was among the best in the country during his second season in 2019. He was the Big 12 Player of the Year and a consensus All-American who finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting behind 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.

It was by far his best season, although he appeared in just seven contests in 2020 while posting 625 rushing yards and six total touchdowns.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com pointed to Devontae Booker as an NFL comparison for Hubbard while highlighting his ability to perform with a heavy workload, find space with impressive vision and make tacklers miss with his change of direction skills. 

However, Zierlein also highlighted some ball-security concerns, a lack of burst that could hurt him at the NFL level and a running style that is "more rigid than creative."

Ultimately, Hubbard was overshadowed by other running backs coming into the draft, including Alabama's Najee Harris, North Carolina's Javonte Williams, North Carolina's Michael Carter and Clemson's Travis Etienne.

There were even a number of talented second-tier playmakers who were marquee names in college, including Ohio State's Trey Sermon and Buffalo's Jaret Patterson.

With that in mind, the prediction here is Hubbard goes in the fourth or fifth round on Saturday.

Look for a team in need of productive running back depth to take a flier on Hubbard on the third day. The thought here is he will land on either the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons or Miami Dolphins and make the team as a high-ceiling rookie who proved how productive he can be during his time with Oklahoma State.