The Bengals selected Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard with the 77th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. They followed that up by adding Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson with the 78th pick.
Hubbard and Jefferson were both listed in our 10 prospects to watch at the beginning of the day. Hubbard should be able to contribute right away and give the Bengals another pass rusher. Jefferson is a good athlete and gives them another potential playmaking linebacker.
Here’s what draft analyst Lance Zierlein said about Hubbard:
“Hubbard will pass the eyeball test with his height, weight, and build, but he’s missing the plus athleticism to take him over the top as a pass rusher. His tape is solid, but nothing jumps off the screen. Teams looking for a big time edge rusher won’t get too excited by him, but he will appeal to defensive coordinators looking for guys with size and motor to plug into a blitz-heavy, twist-happy defense. Hubbard could become an early starter as a strong-side defensive end for a 4-3 defense.”
Fans have to love the sound of him becoming an “early starter.” Hubbard is a Moeller high school graduate.
Zierlein had plenty to say about Jefferson as well:
“Jefferson has the desired combination of height, weight, speed that teams covet and draft, but his career production never matched his athletic traits. He lacks the instincts and play demeanor to be a middle linebacker and could move to a weakside linebacker spot in a 4-3 to take advantage of his athletic gifts. Jefferson has athletic talent, but needs to play with more of a glass-eating mentality to fit in with NFL linebackers. He has eventual starter talent and should become a very good core special teamer.”
Bengals fans have been starving for another athletic linebacker. Adding Jefferson to a core of young players like
Jordan Evans and Nick Vigil is a solid move.
Watch highlights of Hubbard and Jefferson below.