What can teams looking at the Wildcat edge expect?
The NFL draft kicks off on Thursday night. This means “draft experts” have a scant three days to tell you how everything you watched over the last 3 or 4 years in college football is a lie. Seriously, if you need a good laugh, you’ll find the most sincerely wrong people in the sports feverishly pumping out absolute garbage over the next few days.
This brings me to my Wyatt Hubert draft profile.
Athletic Testing Numbers
40 Yard Dash: 4.38 (just kidding, it’s a 4.93, but everyone is running a 4.3 this year)
Vertical Jump: 33
Broad Jump: 4.27
Drew’s Player Profile
I’ll admit, I haven’t spent days pouring over Wyatt Hubert’s film. I don’t have the expertise to break down the intricacies of playing defense end, but that little bit of self awareness boosts the validity of my profile into the top 95% of all profiles. I freely admit that I don’t know what I don’t know.
Motor: Plays from whistle to whistle with a wide eyed intensity, refuses to stay blocked.
Versatility: Strong enough to kick inside on pass rushing downs to take on guards. Can also also kick outside and play outside linebacker in certain 3-4 systems.
Strength/Hands: Cinder block hands that will rock an offensive tackle if he gets a good initial punch.
High Floor: Physically developed coming out of college and easy to project as a depth piece at either defensive end or outside linebacker. You know what you’re drafting, and effort will never be a problem.
Overall Athleticism: Not a “combine” guy. He’s not super bendy, and will miss some tackles in the backfield that it seems like he should make because he struggles with quick change of direction.
Size: Shortish for an NFL defensive end and has tyrannosaurus arms (his arm measurement would have been dead last in the 2020 among defensive linemen).
Ceiling: Not a lottery ticket type guy. He’s not going to fill out, get faster, or grow longer arms. You’re drafting him because of what he brings to your team right now. What you see, is what you’re going to get, that’s either a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on what you’re looking for in a draft pick. (Wyatt Hubert is now a first ballot Hall-of-Fame player. I hope he reads the above quote word for word at his induction ceremony and calls me out by name.)
Wyatt (in my humble opinion of course) is a high floor, lowish ceiling defensive end or outside linebacker. He’s an “average” athlete (only in his cohort of the top .1% of athletes in the world, otherwise he is a Greek God) that makes up for his limitations with a motor that he redlines the moment he steps into the stadium. If you give him an inch, he’ll take a mile. There are no snaps off as an offensive linemen when Hubert lines up across from you. I don’t think he’ll ever lead an NFL team in sacks, but that doesn’t matter, he’s going to be a valuable piece on a roster for a long time.
Guys like Hubert go lower than they should, and usually stick around longer than most of the 3rd-4th round picks drafted on upside and potential.
Rob was a high motor, 6’3”, 270 pound defensive end coming out of Purdue in 2006. He bounced around the NFL for four years before Bill Belichick decided to turn him into an outside linebacker/defensive end hybrid in the New England.
He wasn’t the biggest, fastest, or most athletic player in the NFL, but his elite motor and versatility made him a key cog for the Patriots. He ended up starting 16 career playoff games, picking up a few rings, and cashing 11 seasons worth of NFL paychecks.