DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio St.*

6’5″ – 270 lbs. – 4.65e

Started one of twelve games played as a freshman, but played heavily in a rotational role. Became a full-time starter the following year, then reprised that role as a junior before declaring for the draft. Academic all-conference selection who typically lines up at left end. Has the physical and athletic tools teams look for in an edge defender. Offers an impressive combination of size and length, although he looks somewhat thinner than his listed weight. A plus athlete who can cover a lot of ground, whether in pursuit or in coverage. Capable of playing sideline to sideline and looks fast and comfortable when making drops into zone coverage or carrying running backs into the flats. Works his way through trash well in the run game. Has the suddenness off the snap to penetrate to the interior and create congestion. Also has an adequate anchor and works to extend his arms and lock out opposing blockers. Length gives him a wide radius, although he falls off of some tackle attempts. Took some snaps as more of an interior defensive lineman. However, instincts and discipline leave a lot to be desired. Has trouble locating the ball and his aggressiveness was exploited by opponents too often, causing him to take himself out of plays, negating his athleticism. Needs to play with more discipline when setting the edge. Susceptible to getting his legs cut out. Has the speed to challenge opposing linemen as a pass rusher, with active hands; uses swim and rip moves with some success, and mixes in inside moves. When he has a clear path to the quarterback, exhibits the closing burst to finish his rushes with sacks. However, production came in bunches in college and needs to be a more consistent producer. Can overcommit to winning the edge and end up creating holes for opponents to run through, or run himself past the pocket. More athletic in a straight line than he is fluid when changing direction. The type of player who might have been better-served by returning to school; his physical and athletic gifts make him a high-upside project who could appeal to teams seeking a defensive end or outside linebacker, but he appears some time away from being able to contribute to an NFL team because of his questionable instincts and overall inconsistency. Somewhat reminiscent of 2012 third-round pick Jake Bequette.

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