Sobo's Players of Interest #14: Paul Hubbard

Sobo takes a look at a Wisconsin wide receiver who could provide a huge payoff... or just huge risk...

Paul Hubbard, WR, Wisconsin

SOBO SEZ: Wisconsin football is known for its physical style of play, running the football, and talented offensive linemen. Badger receiving targets, with Lee Evans being a prominent exception, tend to be overlooked through the draft process.

Statistically, Hubbard was fifth on the team with only 14 receptions in eight games this past season.  An overall lack of production as a senior could be attributed to a sprained right knee that cost the receiver five games in 2007. His junior year of football is when the big target splashed on the scene with 38 receptions for 627 yards and five touchdowns.  During said junior campaign, Hubbard was nicknamed "Mr. Third Down" in Madison for his importance in the passing game.

Part of the receiver's problems lie in the fact Hubbard is simply not a polished product by any means.  He has great body control, is a willing blocker, can stretch the field, and at times shows soft hands. Then again, his route running is sloppy and he will drop an easy catch or two.

What scouts love is Hubbard's size/speed ratio. At 6 feet 3 inches tall and 223 pounds, the wide receiver can run in the 4.4 forty yard dash range. Some even had this prospect timing in the high 4.3's during Wisconsin's pro day. The resume also includes being a former Big10 champion in the long jump. Hubbard was a true freshman when he won the event and his initial athletic scholarship was for track and field, not football.  

If a team has time to develop this mega-talented athlete, then the potential rewards could be phenomenal in the near future.  Certainly this prospect would fall in the dreaded category of "high risk / high reward".

Tom Marino, NFL Scout: Outstanding size and speed / top prep triple jumper in the country. Very limited playing production in 07. Drops too many easy ones in my opinion to be considered with the top level of receivers. Good body control and route quickness. Can adjust on the move and find the open area. Skilled player, but just does not play to his timed speed. A 3rd receiver type who with experience could develop into a functional second. Has 3-4 round draft potential.

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