Every once in awhile, a superstar comes out of the MAC Conference. Antonio Brown and Khalil Mack can attest to that.
Running back Kareem Hunt may just be the next big name to play for a MAC school. Toledo’s star, a four-year starter, averaged 6.3 Yards Per Carry as a Rocket, rushed for over 1,000 yards twice, scored 44 touchdowns and raised his stock by catching 41 passes in his senior year.
The Minnesota Vikings are reportedly will be meeting with Hunt as they ramp up for the draft.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) March 20, 2017
CBS Sports’ draft coverage estimates Hunt will be picked in either the third or fourth round. The Vikings have two thirds and two fourth-round picks and could be in line to select a running back.
Minnesota did add free agent running back Latavius Murray to the mix along with Jerick McKinnon, but Murray was effective in Oakland as part of a trio. The Raiders ranked sixth in the NFL in rushing Yards Per Game averaged 4.4 Yards Per Attempt as a team. Taking a swing at a running back could also result in landing a future No. 1 all-around back like Chicago found with Jordan Howard in the fifth round last year.
Here is Hunt’s NFL Draft Profile strengths and weaknesses:
Compact body with broad frame and muscular legs. Above-average agility for his size. Has hips and feet to elude darting defenders in backfield. Uses effective jump-cut to avoid the sludge and shift to the open gap. Runs with good vision and overall instincts. Presses the line before making back-side cuts. Conforms his run to changing space within running lane. Spin moves are effective against first-look tacklers on second level. Suddenly shifts to bounce an inside run to the perimeter. Strings moves together on outside zone plays. Runs with knee bend and forward lean. Adequate pass catcher for screens and check-downs.
Can elude initial tackle but struggles to accelerate after redirecting his feet. Average explosion traits. Marginal downhill burst through line of scrimmage. Inconsistent inside runner. Gets too cute in the hole when run comes to a close. Looks to spin rather than finish with authority. Needs to run to his size more consistently. Premature in breaking off play-side runs in outside zone. He might not trust his play speed. Slight gear-down into downhill cuts. Could struggle to find chunk runs on next level. Chip “leans” rather than chip blocks allowing open rib shots to go unclaimed.