Re-grading the Panthers 2021 NFL Draft class after Year No. 2

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jaycee Horn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /

Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers RB

  • No. 126 overall selection

The Carolina Panthers selected Chuba Hubbard to be a complimentary piece to Christian McCaffrey. But yet another injury to the All-Pro in 2021 thrust the former fourth-round pick into the limelight much sooner than anticipated.

This was something Hubbard wasn’t ready for. His pass protection was abysmal – as was his pass-catching out of the backfield – and the player’s contact balance also brought more than a few concerns about his long-term aspirations in Carolina.

Hubbard was a backup at best behind McCaffrey last time around. But the Panthers traded their best offensive weapon to the San Francisco 49ers before the deadline, which worked out pretty well for the Oklahoma State product with Steve Wilks leading the charge.

Wilks and Ben McAdoo got back to basics with a run-dependent offense behind a much-improved offensive line. D’Onta Foreman did the hard yards, but Hubbard also came to the fore and looked to have made improvements in almost every area over the second half of 2022.

Draft Grade: B

This was another fine example of Rhule’s failure to assess or develop NFL talent. But there’s no doubt Hubbard could play a significant role with Frank Reich at the helm provided his newfound momentum is built upon during the upcoming preparation period.