It’s draft season and whether it’s that early-round stud or that late-round gem, everyone is searching for the next star.
Kansas State Wildcats (2017-2020)
- Games Played 34, Games Started 29, Tackles 94, Solos 72, TFLs 34, sacks 20, interceptions 1, PBUs 3, forced fumbles 3, blocked kicks 1
- 2018 Freshman All-American (USA TODAY), 2019 First Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, Associated Press), 2019-20 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list, 2019-20 Ted Hendricks Award candidate, 2020 Bednarik Award watch list, 2020 First Team All-Big 12 (Coaches, Associated Press), 2nd all-time in TFLs (34) in team history, 8th all-time in team history and 18th all-time in Big-12 Conference history in sacks (20), 2021 Senior Bowl participant
Wyatt Anthony Hubert was born June 13, 1998, in Shawnee, Kansas, where he played for Shawnee Heights High School. He picked up all-state honors as a senior from the Topeka Capital-Journal, Wichita Eagle, and Kansas Football Coaches Association, while he was an honorable mention selection as a junior. Then followed that up with a senior season of 63 tackles, 17.5 TFLs, and 8.0 sacks en route to Centennial League Defensive Player of the Year, all-league, and all-city honors. Hubert finished his high school career with 124 career tackles, 43.0 tackles for loss, and 20.5 sacks. He would be rated the nation’s 29th-best strong-side defensive end in the Class of 2017 by Rivals, while he was ranked as the second-best player in the state of Kansas by ESPN.
Hubert would redshirt his first year on Campus with the Wildcats, but in year two as a redshirt freshman, he would make an impact right away. He would play in all 12 games making seven starts and produced 34 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 4.5 sacks, earning All-American honors from USA Today. As a sophomore, Hubert would start all 12 games for the Wildcats earning 1st team All-Big 12 honors. He would record 33 tackles while leading the team in both TFLs (12½) and sacks (7).
Hubert would follow that great season up with an even better junior season that saw him earn his second-consecutive First Team All-Big 12 honor and was the only unanimous selection on defense. For the season, Hubert would register 27 tackles and again lead the team in TFLs (13) and sacks (8½), both of which were career highs. At season’s end, Hubert would make the decision to forgo his senior year and turn pro.
Hubert is an all-motor pass-rush prospect that plays with a ton of energy and aggressiveness on every play. He has the versatility to play in either scheme but has the most experience and excelled standing up in a 3-4 scheme, as an outside linebacker. Plays with consistency and good speed when playing up the field. Hubert has a terrific first step with NFL power and strength. Has a very strong base and does a great job of setting the edge.
Possess a pass rush toolbox with a nice variety of options, including a bull rush, at his disposal. Hubert produced at an extremely high level in college, backed up by his college totals. He earned a 90.7 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus while producing a pass-rush win rate of 19.3%, well above-average. He’s an extremely durable player, that rarely comes off the field.
A bit undersized for an NFL defensive end but not to a point of a hindrance to his game. Has played mostly as a standup outside linebacker in college, but his coverage skills aren’t where they need to be. That’s the part where 3-4 scheme teams are going to have to look at closely and see how he would fit their team. Hubert also has limited change of direction movements, combined lack of coverage skills makes him a pass rush only option.
Despite being such a good pass rusher, he would benefit from better hand usage, placement, and punch. While he has a variety of pass rush moves, he needs to develop his counter move repertoire. There is also some concern with his arm length, as he’s on the shorter side, which will allow blockers to get in closer and potentially lock on.
At the next level, Jones is a tweener, which makes him more difficult to project and grade. I see him best suited as a stand-up pass-rush option in a 3-4 scheme, but his unimpressive coverage skills could prevent him from being on the field for all three downs. As a 4-3 defensive end he will have to add a little more bulk and still maintain his power and strength leverage. Hubert isn’t at his best when asked to play in space, but can be a dominant presence when allowed to pin his ears back and be a disruptor in the backfield. He has some NFL now-ready qualities and could possibly make an impact early on, as a rotational or backup piece. With some polishing of his overall game and good coaching, Hubert can be a quality NFL starter.
Clearly, Hubert’s value will be tied to which position group he gets classified as. If he gets that defensive end tag then that will be a boost to his value and where fantasy managers can maximize his usage in leagues. If he gets hit with that linebacker tag then that’s a blow to his fantasy value, of course. Now if your league uses an EDGE designation then Hubert’s value falls somewhere in the middle. I would definitely target him in specific-position-only leagues as a DE option, while I will fade him in leagues that classify him as a linebacker. When drafting Hubert, keep in mind that his TFL and sack totals will be his biggest stat scorers, as he won’t get you a ton of tackles. Hubert is a solid option to have stashed away deep on your rosters or taxi squads.
NFL Draft Projection: 3rd to 5th round
Fantasy Draft Projection: 7th round or later
Fantasy Scoring Projection: DE:2/3 EDGE:4/5 LB:6
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