clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2017 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo

New, comments

Hunt was one of the most productive backs in college, but is he a fit for the Giants’ backfield?

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants need a running back, that much has been agreed upon. It’s also been agreed upon that 2016 is a tremendous year to get one.

From there, though, opinions differ. Should they draft one highly, such as Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook if either falls to 23rd overall? Should they wait on a less highly regarded back? And what kind of running back should they get? A quick and versatile back to build on the skills they already have in Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen? Or should they get a big thumping power back to give defenses a contrast?

The 2017 NFL Draft has both kinds of backs, and “do-it-all” backs that are a little of each, and talent throughout the depth chart.

Toledo’s Kareem Hunt has been one of the most productive backs in college over the last four years, and over the last few months has shown that he might be able to fit in any of the three categories.

Measurables

Pros

  • Determined runner. Keeps his feet churning through contact.
  • Powerful lower body gives him a good burst through the hole and accelerating into space.
  • Impressive balance lets him pick his way through trash, wade through arm tackles, and bounce off shoulder checks.
  • Takes very good care of the ball. Only one fumble in 856 touches.
  • Capable receiver, production jumped from 32 receptions for 4.7 yards per catch his first three years to 41 receptions for 9.3 yards per catch his senior year.
  • Flashes a nifty jump cut as well as a spin move to avoid tacklers.

Cons

  • Weight has fluctuated throughout the draft process. Played at 225 at Toledo, went down to 208 for the Senior Bowl, and up to 216 for the Scouting Combine. What is his “real” weight?
  • Doesn’t show the extra gear to run away from defenders once he gets to open space.
  • Heavily used his senior year, came dangerously close to the “270” carry barrier.
  • Needs to work on pass protection.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Hunt looks like a good fit for the Giants. He might not be the bruising power back many are looking for, but his balance, strength, and determination make him tough to bring down.

He does his best work running to the edge in outside zone runs, which might be at odds with the Giants’ running game scheme continues to be based on an inside-zone scheme. However, his vision and attributes as a runner should make him versatile enough for the Giants more mauling scheme.

His hands would be an advantage, helping to keep the playbook open on any down and distance. Likewise, the team is sure to love his ball security, and being in a rotation should help alleviate concerns about his workload.

Prospect Video

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 93rd overall

CBS Sports - 123rd overall

Draft Countdown - 161st overall

Draft Tek - 150th overall

Final Thoughts

Kareem Hunt played against a lower level of competition than did the premier backs in the draft, but the raw traits as a player were on full display. His ability to keep his feet and turn a would-be tackle into a chunk of yardage has already gotten him noticed.

While his official 40 time leaves something to be desired, -- though he improved a bit at the Toledo Pro Day -- the 216 at which he weighed in at the Combine might be his best playing weight. He showed improved burst and agility at 208 from 225, but 216 might give him more of that ability to bounce off defenders.

Hunt will undoubtedly face a learning curve as he adjusts to the NFL, but he could be a good complement to Paul Perkins and a solid pick at the tail end of Day 2 or early in Day 3.