The Bengals went all in to fix their defensive line issues in the 2021 NFL Draft, using four of their ten selections on the position. This included their final selection, former Kansas State defensive end Wyatt Hubert.
A team can never have enough pass-rushers and Hubert has a nice skill set to provide a change-up to Sam Hubbard, Trey Hendrickson, and fellow rookies Joseph Ossai and Cameron Sample.
Let’s take a look at what Hubert brings to the table in Cincinnati.
Hubert’s 40 time will not turn any heads, but he is extremely fast off the ball.
By the time the left tackle gets his hands on Hubert in this clip, he’s already toast.
Hubert got to his hip so quickly that the tackle could barely get a hand on him. When the tackle attempted to do so, Hubert showed off his own quick hands, disengaging and getting into the backfield with ease.
After getting off of the block, he shows impressive agility and acceleration as he turns the corner and closes in for the sack. He takes the quarterback down hard, bringing his arm down over the quarterback’s shoulder in an attempt to knock the ball out.
Speaking of agility and acceleration, take a look at this clip.
Hubert comes into the screen from the left as he stunts into the inside gap. As he clears the offensive lineman, he finds himself with a clean path to the quarterback. He gets low and accelerates. The passer knows he is in trouble and gets rid of the ball, but he still takes a big-time shot from Hubert.
The Bengals like to put their defensive linemen on the move in pass rush situations. This is where Hubbard has found much of his pass rush success and Hubert could do the same.
Another thing that the Bengals like to do with Hubbard is move him inside to add speed to the interior pass rush.
In this clip, Hubert lines up as the defensive tackle on the top of the screen and rushes the B-gap. His speed forces the guard deep into the pocket: too deep. Hubert smartly counters with a spin move inside to the A-gap. He comes out of this move nicely, but has to pause because the offensive tackle from the other side of the formation is in his way. Still, Hubert is able to chase the quarterback down from behind for the sack.
This versatility bodes well for Hubert’s chances of making the Bengals’ roster. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo loves versatile players who he can move all over the field. Like Ossai and Sample, Hubert has the position flexibility this team desires defensively.
Of course, Hubert should only be playing on the interior in passing situations. He is however strong against the run on the edge, as we will see in the next clip.
Hubert is the defensive end on the top of the screen in this clip.
Hubert comes off the ball and recognizing the run, he takes on the tackle’s block. He sinks his hips which gives him leverage, allowing him to hold his ground and restrict the running lane. The play is designed to go inside, but finding nowhere to run, the ball-carrier bounces it outside. Hubert has kept his outside arm free, which allows him to disengages and make the tackle when the ball carrier breaks to the outside.
This was an excellent stop by Hubert.
The Bengals rounded out a solid draft by selecting Hubert in the seventh and final round. He provides much needed depth to the defensive line and could contribute right away as a situational pass rusher. Don’t be surprised to see Hubert make the final roster this fall.