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Bengals DE Sam Hubbard signs rookie contract

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The Bengals have wrapped up their draft class now that the former Buckeye is under contract.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have wrapped up their 2018 NFL Draft class. As Malik Jefferson signed his rookie contract on Thursday, so too did Sam Hubbard, the team announced.

Hubbard also posted the news on Instagram:

x____________ #RookieSzn

A post shared by Sam Hubbard (@sam_hubbard_) on

Hubbard, who weighs in at 6’5” and 270 pounds, played in 40 games (22 starts) over three seasons (2015-17) of action with the Ohio State Buckeyes. He first gained a full-time starting role in 2016 when he had 46 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two pass break-ups.

Last season, Hubbard recorded 42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles. For his career, Hubbard totaled 116 career tackles, including 29.5 for losses and 17 sacks, with one interception, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Hubbard was someone draft experts loved going into the draft, so much that many websites had him projected as first or second-round prospect, but the Bengals managed to land him with the 77th overall pick in Round 3, right before they took Jefferson with the 78th pick.

Hubbard is a Cincinnati native and alum of Archbishop Moeller High School, where he earned all-state honors as a safety and helped the Crusaders to back-to-back state titles in 2012 and 2013.

For the Bengals, Hubbard will add depth and security behind Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson, both of whom hit free agency in 2019. He’s a little undersized to be a full-time defensive end right away in a 4-3 defense, but with a year in an NFL weight room and on-field experience, Hubbard could be ready for a starting role in 2019.