Position: Running back
Weight: 216 pounds
School: Toledo Rockets
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.62 seconds
Bench press: 19 reps
Vertical jump: 36.5 inches (fifth among running backs)
Broad jump: 9 feet, 11 inches
Kareem Hunt 2017 NFL Draft Profile
As a three-star back out of high school, Kareem Hunt actually garnered some interest from Power Five programs. Among the schools that offered him a scholarship were Pittsburgh and Minnesota. But the Willoughby, OH native decided to stay in-state and eventually committed to Toledo.
Hunt made an immediate impact in the Rockets run game. He rushed for 866 yards and added six touchdowns as a true freshman, while finishing second in the MAC with 6.3 yards per carry. His sophomore season, however, was truly special. Despite missing three games due to an ankle injury, Hunt led the MAC with 1,631 yards on the ground and had the second highest yards per attempt total (7.96) in the country. In the team’s 63-44 GoDaddy Bowl win over Arkansas State, he rushed for 271 yards and five touchdowns. The latter tied an all-time bowl record.
Injuries and an early season two-game suspension for violating team rules hampered Hunt during his junior year. Still, he managed the fifth-highest rushing yards total in the conference and was one of 30 backs to average over 100 yards per game. His final season with the team saw him put everything together. Hunt once again led the MAC in rushing yards (1,475) and found the end zone 11 times (10 rushing touchdowns). And only 17 running backs in FBS had a higher workload.
For his career, Hunt finished as Toledo’s all-time leading rusher with 4,945 yards on the ground. His 20 games of 100+ yards ranks second in school history.
- well-built with a thick lower body.
- exploits seams downfield with great vision.
- effective downhill runner in space with extra gear in second and third level.
- can make tacklers miss with solid lateral movement.
- excellent leg drive in traffic gives him consistent yards after contact.
- proved to be a reliable runner in the red zone.
- added a pass-catching element to his game as a senior.
- confident hands in the passing game.
- takes care of the ball; Toledo finished top ten in fumbles lost last two years.
- tied with Barry Sanders for most rushing touchdowns in a bowl game (5).
- can be indecisive when hitting the hole on north-south run plays.
- needs to have better initial burst at the line of scrimmage.
- could be a more urgent runner outside the tackles.
- doesn’t maintain solid base/pad level when pass blocking.
- hampered by nagging injuries throughout his collegiate career.
- small off-field red flag in form of suspension for violating team rules as a junior.
NFL Comparison: Kenneth Dixon
Teams With Need at Position: Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projection: third to fourth round
Hunt sees the field as well as any running back in this year’s draft class. Combine that with his plus lateral quickness and you have someone capable of breaking off big plays at the next level. The big question surrounding him is whether he possesses the initial explosiveness necessary to counteract the elite team speed on defense he’ll see in the trenches. There are also some durability concerns after a few minor injuries sidelined him a few times during his college career. But there’s enough there to suggest he can compete for second or third string reps immediately with the possibility of an expanded workload down the road. For any team in need of depth at the position, Hunt will be a solid add in the middle rounds.