The Cincinnati Bengals, with their last pick in the 2021 NFL draft, took Kansas State defensive end Wyatt Hubert. Hubert came out after his junior season. Each season with the Wildcats, despite not having great records in the Big 12, Hubert improved.
From 4.5 to 7.0 to 8.5, Hubert continued to show improvement.
Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 270 pounds, Hubert should be a force, but whether he’ll have that top-tier speed that is needed at the NFL level is still in question. He ended his three-year career with 94 tackles and 33 tackles for a loss in 34 appearances.
He was given a 6-7 round draft projection by NFL.com, so the Bengals getting him in the early seventh round feels like a steal.
However, after adding Cameron Sample and Joseph Ossai in the first four rounds, the Bengals really didn’t need another defensive end. Even Sample and Ossai will just serve as backups to Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard to start.
ESPN’s Steve Muench noted that Hubert is “at his best slipping blocks and shooting gaps.” Hopefully, that will be how he is going to be used in the Queen City. He should get some special teams snaps as well.
“Usually those big, strong guys that play hard end up being better than you grade them. He’s got a lot of production, too,” an area scout for an AFC team told NFL.com, so that’s a small positive to look for as well.
Hubert is going to be a long-term prospect, but given the Bengals draft, I think adding more depth at cornerback or tight end may have been more beneficial. That said, this is it for the Bengals draft, one that should be considered a huge success for Cincinnati.
Draft Grade: B
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