Scouting Profile: Running Back Kareem Hunt
Kareem Hunt, Toledo
Weight: 216 lbs.
40-yard dash: 4.62 seconds
3-Cone drill: N/A
Broad jump: 9’11”
When going through the running backs, Hunt was someone who was ranked in the consensus top-10 at the running back position, which is saying something because the 2017 draft class is considered to be extremely deep. I came away thinking that what his measurables say and what his tape says are two different things.
When you see a running back that comes in at 5’10” and 216 pounds, you’d expect him to be a power-back that can move a pile if necessary. After all, Hunt’s best comparables in the NFL from a size standpoint are Kenneth Dixon and Alfred Morris, two running backs that would be considered power-backs. His forty-yard dash was just above 4.6 seconds, further making you believe he’s a power-style running back. That’s just not the case when you watch him.
There are times where Hunt gets downhill and wonderfully puts his pads down as he goes through the hole up the middle, but that’s not what he’ll be known for. There were times where Hunt was thrown to the ground like a ragdoll, which is extremely puzzling. Unlike many other top prospects in this class, Hunt can be arm-tackled as well. There will be moments where he’ll bounce a run outside only to be arm-tackled by a cornerback. It’s not due to lack of effort, because he’s always churning his legs, trying to make the most of the situation.
When hearing about his difficulty to break arm tackles, you’ve probably already thought about the fact that he won’t break very many tackles at the NFL level. His best bet is to get low to the ground creating a compact 216 pounds with a small tackling area. Some may say that he had a lot of his success outside of the tackles, but the game speed is much different in the NFL. He takes a long time to decelerate when going to the edge and making his cut up the field, which is why it won’t work out well in the NFL, as their closing speed is much faster.
With all that being said, Hunt is a surprisingly good receiver out of the backfield. The reason for that is because he is at his best in the open field. He doesn’t lose much speed when changing direction, which is a good trait to have. Now it’s not like he has Le’Veon Bell-type cuts when changing direction, but it’s enough to beat a defender one-on-one.
There are some redeeming qualities to Hunt’s game, but he’s going to need a coach who’s willing to change what he’s been doing. Highlight the areas of his game that are solid and build around them. From all accounts, Hunt is a player that is always willing to give you 100 percent, and open to learning. If that’s the case, he can make it work in this league. He’s not going to be starting for an NFL team any time soon, but could be an interesting stash depending on where he lands.
Before letting you know Hunt’s comparison, you need to know that this is who his game resembles. It doesn’t mean he’s going to go on to rush for 13,000 yards and 74 touchdowns. The player who I’m reminded of when watching Hunt is Frank Gore, who has made a living on staying low to the ground, creating a smaller tackle box. He isn’t breaking many tackles at this point in his career, but when he did, it was due to lower body strength. Hunt would need to hit the weight room, but I don’t think a game comparable to Gore’s is out of reach.
To read up on some of the other high-profile NFL Draft prospects, check out the links below:
Leonard Fournette – (RB, LSU)
Joe Mixon – (RB, Oklahoma)
Christian McCaffrey – (RB, Stanford)
Dalvin Cook – (RB, Florida State)
Alvin Kamara – (RB, Tennessee)
D’Onta Foreman – (RB, Texas)
Wayne Gallman – (RB, Clemson)
Samaje Perine – (RB, Oklahoma)
Jamaal Williams – (RB, BYU)