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Chuba Hubbard

Hubbard looks like a decent back waiting to happen

I like Chuba Hubbard. I think he’s one of the better insurance-policy running backs available in drafts this year.

To clarify: I don’t think Hubbard is a special talent. I don’t think he’s ever going to ascend to being a team’s Week 1 starter. To me, he looks like an Alexander Mattison kind of guy, with modest overall ability. But Hubbard is the clear backup there, and I think he’ll play some.

Carolina signed Miles Sanders to be its starting running back, but he’s had problems stay healthy (at least until he played in all 20 of Philadelphia’s games last year). Sanders missed 1, 4 and 5 games in his first three seasons.

The Panthers have a good offensive line, and they’ve shown they can pound it pretty good. After they traded Christian McCaffrey last year, they averaged 152 rushing yards in their final 11 games. Only three teams ran for more yards in those games (Bears, Ravens, Falcons) and all got there with the help of more rushing yards from their quarterbacks.

RUSHING (FINAL 11 GAMES)
TeamW-LAttYdsAvgTD
Chicago1-103611,9905.513
Baltimore7-43691,7864.810
Atlanta4-73571,7274.89
Carolina6-53591,6684.613
Buffalo9-23151,6505.412
San Francisco10-13361,6164.814
Dallas8-33671,5854.320
Philadelphia8-33191,5734.919
Washington6-4-13951,5704.06
Pittsburgh7-43571,5534.412
NY Giants4-6-13241,5414.813
Tennessee3-83121,4794.710
Cleveland5-63341,4584.49
Green Bay5-63001,3794.69
Indianapolis1-102961,3644.66
Kansas City10-12711,3314.914
Detroit8-33161,3054.116
Jacksonville7-42791,2964.610
Seattle6-52851,2964.57
Las Vegas4-72861,2884.56
Denver3-82891,2744.49
LA Rams2-92851,2384.310
Miami6-52641,1994.58
Arizona2-92721,1574.310
Minnesota8-32671,0744.011
New Orleans5-62951,0733.64
Cincinnati10-12611,0694.012
New England5-62471,0244.14
NY Jets3-82531,0224.05
LA Chargers6-52529553.810
Tampa Bay5-62549033.63
Houston2-92608723.44

Statistics compiled using search tools at Pro-Football-Reference.com

Hubbard in those games was part of a one-two punch with D’Onta Foreman, and Foreman (who’s now with Chicago) was the more productive of the two. Hubbard was streakier. He had five good games late in the year, averaged 79 rushing yards in those five games, and up at 5.4 yards per carry. But he carried only 16 times for 36 yards in his last four other games.

But Hubbard looks like the clear No. 2 there for me. If we’re in a league where teams are squatting on backup running backs, waiting for an injury, I think he should be one of the first dozen of those guys picked.

—Ian Allan

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