Chuba Hubbard Drafted by Panthers: Carolina's Updated Depth Chart After Round 4

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 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 Carolina Panthers added depth in the backfield with the fourth-round selection of Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard was the 126th overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft, although he likely could have gone much higher a year earlier.

The 6'0", 208-pound runner led all of college football in 2019 with 2,094 rushing yards in 2019, adding 21 touchdowns while rushing for 6.4 yards per carry. He also had 23 catches for 198 yards on his way to finishing eighth in voting for the Heisman Trophy.

Things weren't quite as smooth in 2020 as he was limited to just seven games during the shortened season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hubbard finished the year with 625 rushing yards and five touchdowns while struggling to overcome the extra attention from defenses. He was also slowed by injuries, telling reporters Saturday he had an ankle sprain and needed groin surgery after the year, per Alaina Getzenberg of the Observer.

The upside is certainly there if healthy, and he could provide Carolina with a lot of production as a rookie in 2021. Here is how he fits in the latest depth chart (via Ourlads):

QB: Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker

RB: Christian McCaffrey, Chuba Hubbard, Trenton Cannon

WR1: DJ Moore

WR2: Robby Anderson

WR3: Terrace Marshall Jr., David Moore, Brandon Zylstra

TE: Ian Thomas, Dan Arnold, Tommy Tremble

LT: Greg Little, Brady Christensen

LG: Dennis Daley, Mike Horton

C: Matt Paradis, Sam Tecklenburg

RG: Pat Elflein, John Miller

RT: Taylor Moton, Cameron Erving

Christian McCaffrey is the unquestioned star of the backfield when healthy, but the All-Pro running back only appeared in three games last season. Mike Davis filled in admirably when needed, although he left for the Atlanta Falcons in free agency.

It made adding a new running back a decent priority for the Panthers in the draft.

Hubbard can move ahead of Trenton Cannon and Reggie Bonnafon on the depth chart and should get plenty of snaps right away with his experience and ability to run downhill.

Though he won't challenge McCaffrey for playing time, he should be able to take over if the starter suffers another injury next season.