Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo
(percentile rank among all RBs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.62 (27th)
Vertical: 36.5 inches
Broad: 119 inches (59th)
20-yard shuttle: DNP
This Lake County, Ohio native remained in-state with his 2013 commitment to Toledo. Right away, Hunt made an impact with 5 games over 100 rushing yards.
2014 produced some turbulence, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the stats above. Hunt missed the 2nd half of two back-to-back early-season games (ankle injury). Then he sat out the next 3 full games with the same ailment.
Hunt remained highly efficient, though. He posted 101 yards in one half vs. Cincinnati and 142 in one half vs. Ball State. Every other active outing produced 100+ yards on the ground.
2015 developed into another bumpy ride. Hunt missed the season opener due to a violation of team rules. Upon returning, he played through a hamstring injury for most of the season. But the now 21-year old still led the MAC with 108.1 rushing yards per game.
Back for his senior year in 2016, Hunt saw an elevated workload. Not only did he handle 262 carries — 13th most in the nation — but he racked up a career-high 41 receptions for 403 yards. Hunt held up well this time and didn’t miss any game due to injury. And he certainly caught the attention of scouts by improving his class-best fumble rate — one on 856 career carries.
“Honestly, I just take care of the ball, I take pride in that,” Hunt said, via CBS. “I don’t like having anything taken from me, and I’m not going to let anybody take the ball from me, or anything important to me -- and football’s important.”
Hunt further boosted his stock with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl in January. He busted off 118 yards on just 15 carries.
Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com
Games watched - BYU, Ball State, Northern Illinois, App State, Western Michigan, Kent State (2015), Northern Illinois (2015), Temple (2015)
A couple of items to note before we dive in. Hunt played in a weaker conference, albeit one he dominated over parts of 4 seasons. Toledo’s offense also featured very few runs that weren’t of the shotgun variety. Perhaps that’ll produce a learning curve at the next level.
Still, Hunt showed a tackle-dodging skill set that profiles well in the NFL. Listed at 225 on Toledo’s official site — and weighing 216 at the Combine — we see power elements sprinkled in his game. The first clip shows an ability to get skinny through small holes.
Hunt's leg strength was on display with a number of workmanlike efforts, one of which is shown below.
Beyond the power, Hunt showed some open-field elusiveness. Pro Football Focus charted him with 98 missed tackles forced last season -- 2nd most in the nation. Below, he pulls off a Dion Lewis-like cut. We'll see more of that in the clips ahead.
As a 4-year college player, it's no surprise that Hunt frequently flashes plus vision and patience.
Hunt's decision to return to school in 2016 likely boosted his draft stock. Why? Not only did he again shine on the ground, but he posted receiving numbers that bested his combined totals from his first 3 years. He proved worthy of the added responsibilities by hauling in 100% of his catchable targets, per PFF. Sometimes, he did so with flair, going up high for this grab...
...and down low for this one.
Hunt shows off another stop-start move to shake free. It's no wonder Toledo began using him more, not only out of the backfield, but from the slot as well.
The tape shows that while Hunt lacks great straight line speed, he can make up for it with other elements in his game: elusiveness, patience, vision and yards after contact. It’s not like the league is full of RBs routinely ripping off long runs, anyway. Only 4 RBs tallied more than 8 rushes of 20+ yards in 2016 (Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy, Jay Ajayi and Jordan Howard).
Hunt’s 2016 was critical, as it give scouts a glimpse of his receiving ability. He’ll need to prove himself in pass protection, but that’s the case with the vast majority of rookie runners. As such a well-rounded athlete, Hunt will be a candidate for rookie-year impact — even if he’s not selected until the middle rounds in April. Consider him draftable in the late Round 2/Round 3 neighborhood of rookie drafts.