Kareem Hunt was one of the stars down at the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl. He finished with 15 carries for 118 yards and was named “North Most Outstanding Player.” You can watch his tape from the Senior Bowl here at Draft Breakdown. The Senior Bowl was a massive stage for Hunt, who, coming out of high school, was the 107th ranked running back in the country according to 24/7 Sports, which only served as motivation for him. “It’s been like that my whole life,” Hunt said. “It’s motivation. I’m used to it.” As a runner, he reminds me of another small school running back that had great success in the NFL, Brian Westbrook.
In his senior year in high school, Hunt rushed for 2,685 yards and 44 touchdowns, setting the all-time rushing record for Lake County. He was a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and was a finalist for “Mr. Football” in Ohio.
In the 2015 Dollar General Bowl, Hunt ran for a bowl-record 271 yards and five touchdowns. Throughout his collegiate career at the University of Toledo, Hunt rushed for almost 5,000 yards and chipped in over 500 yards through the air. Hunt led the Rockets with a career rushing average of 6.7 yards per carry that ranks first all-time at UT.
Hunt has great lateral quickness that enables him to juke and side-step oncoming defenders. He also displays an uncanny ability to maintain his balance when he is hit from poor leverage attack angles. Arguably Hunt’s greatest asset is a nasty spin move, which he uses to bounce off defenders, while not losing his momentum. Hunt is a smooth player who possesses good vision to find the appropriate running lanes in most situations, adequate strength to break arm tackles and an above average stiff arm to shield away defenders. He has been clocked in the high 4.4’s – low 4.5’s in the 40 which gives him plenty of speed in the open field. His ability to contribute in the passing game gives him the potential to be a three-down back in the NFL and creates an added value in PPR leagues.
Hunt is not the biggest guy, measuring in at the Senior Bowl at 5’10” 208 lbs. At times he will get swallowed up when trying to bust a play up the middle. He is certainly not a pounder to the likes of D’onta Foreman, so don’t expect him to be a goal line back in all situations necessarily. During his 2015 season, Hunt carried too much weight for his frame, and you could tell it slowed him down so there could be potential issues figuring out his ideal weight in the NFL. Also, his level of competition of the University of Toledo leaves some room for questioning his high production numbers, a similar concern that all smaller school prospects face. Although not bad, questions surrounding his pass pro might hurt his value from a coach’s perspective come draft time.
Kareem Hunt is one of my favorite running backs in this class, and after a stellar Senior Bowl, he put himself in the top 5-8 running back discussion in this class. Hunt is an every down back that should be drafted on day 2 or early day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft. If you can get him in the second round of rookie drafts, in my opinion, you are stealing.