4 recent Panthers draft picks under threat ahead of 2022 camp

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers RB

Losing Christian McCaffrey to injury was a body blow to the Carolina Panthers last season. Something that also thrust Chuba Hubbard into the spotlight way ahead of time.

The running back performed admirably for a fourth-round selection with increased responsibility on his shoulders. Hubbard gained 612 rushing yards and five touchdowns from 172 carries, but there are some real flaws in the Oklahoma State product’s game that need to be resolved in pursuit of gaining involvement in 2022.

Hubbard’s pass blocking leaves a lot to be desired. He also has trouble absorbing contact and could do with brushing up his pass-catching skills to give his chances another boost.

That’s a lot to ask. But the Panthers weren’t going to sit around and wait given how much is on the line for head coach Matt Rhule next time around.

Carolina signed D’Onta Foreman from the Tennessee Titans in free agency. This is a nice change of pace presence with big-play ability, so Hubbard needs to bring on his game quickly or find himself on the outside looking in.

It might be worth the Panthers taking three running backs onto their roster due to McCaffrey’s injury problems that restricted him to 10 games over the last two seasons. Hubbard will make the 53, but unless complications regarding production are resolved, then a bit-part role could be in the offing.