Kareem Hunt -- Toledo Rockets
Position: Running Back
Hometown: Willoughby, OH
Experience: Sr. - 4 year starter
40yd dash: 4.62
Broad jump: 119”
20yd. Shuttle: DNP
Bench Press: 18 reps
After setting the all-time rushing record at Lake County High School and scoring 44 touchdowns as a senior in 2012, Hunt took his game to Toledo in 2013 and finished second on the team in rushing with 866 yards as a freshman. His 6.32 yards per carry averaged led Toledo and was one of the top marks in the MAC.
As a sophomore in 2014, Hunt emerged as the Rockets featured back and focal point of their offense. He earned First-team All-MAC honors as he led the conference and finished 10th in the nation in rushing with 1631 yards on the ground. He also finished the year with an impressive 7.96 yards per carry average to go along with 16 rushing touchdowns.
Hunt led the team again in rushing as a junior in 2015, despite seeing some dip in production (973 rushing yards and 12 TDs). The Ohio native went on to earn Second-team All-MAC honors even though he missed a few games with a suspension and hamstring injury. Hunt returned to form as a senior in 2016, starting every game and rushing for 1475 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning his second First-team All-MAC honor.
While Hunt’s collegiate career was impressive, the former Rocket halfback really helped his draft stock down in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. Hunt was named as the Most Outstanding Player for the North Team, and he also capped of the week as the game’s leading rusher with 118 yards on 15 carries.
In 2016, Hunt played in every game and didn’t sustain any major injuries. He did miss two games in 2015 after suffering a hamstring injury against Iowa State. He also missed the season opener that year for violating team rules. In 2014, he also missed three games, but this absence came after he suffered an ankle injury midway through the season.
Hunt has some wiggle and quick-cut ability to his game. While he lacks breakaway speed and top-end athleticism, he does have decent short-area burst and acceleration, as well as smooth change of direction ability. Hunt has enough speed to turn the corner, but he won’t run away from many defenders downfield. Despite this, he still hits the hole with good burst and shows quick feet to make defenders miss in the open field. His jumpcut is aslo really effective and perhaps the best attribute to his game.
Despite good patience in the backfield and decisiveness in hitting the hole, Hunt does dance a bit too much behind the line of scrimmage. He will also run into his blockers at times and not always make the best reads. His decision making at times needs work. He doesn’t always follow his blocks, which can lead to him backpedaling and getting dragged down behind the line of scrimmage. While Hunt makes plenty of positive plays, it’s the negative plays that need to be addressed in his game. He has too many runs for a loss on film.
Hunt runs with excellent pad level. He stays low to the ground and has powerful legs, which allows him to drive through contact. He does a great job falling forward through contact, and while he’s not a pile pusher, he can pack a punch at the collision point. Hunt isn’t the biggest back, but he runs with a low center of gravity, which makes him challenging for defenders to square up and stop.
Pass Receiving: 3.0/5.0
Hunt has good hands and solid route running. He was very productive in the passing game as a senior as he emerged as a reliable checkdown receiver in the Rockets offense. However, he’s inconsistent in pass protection, even shying away at times when having to square up blitzing defenders. Despite this, Hunt can be effective on swing passes and screens. He’s reliable enough in the passing game to stay on the field on third downs.
Ball Security: 5.0/5.0
Hunt has excellent ball security. He only fumbled once in college. Impressively, this came over a span where he carried the ball 782 times.
Impact Play Ability: 4.0/5.0
Hunt had four really productive seasons at Toledo as their starting halfback. However, some may question the level of competition this production came against. Granted, this is still a player that ran over 100 yards in 28 games and eclipsed the 1400-yard mark in a season twice. Hunt runs hard and gains a lot of yards after contact. His potential to make big plays in the running game adds a game-changing dynamic on offense. He’s also a player that can factor in the passing game, even though his pass protection needs to improve.
Summary: Hunt is an intriguing late-Day 2 to early-Day 3 prospect, who should compete for a starting role in the NFL. He may not be a Pro Bowl caliber halfback at the next level, but he is a solid player who can contribute to his team in multiple ways. His lack of top-end speed and big play production will cause him to slide down some draft boards, but overall, he’s an electric runner who can offer some juice on offense.
Overall Grade: 3.91/5.0
If Drafted by the Packers:
Hunt would give the Packers a consistent running threat in their backfield and a guy who could immediately compete for a starting role on their roster. He would be great value in the draft in Rounds 3-5.
While Hunt would give Green Bay an early-down back who can gain the tough yards, his ability to catch out of the backfield would allow him to factor to some extent in the passing game. However, Hunt would have to improve in blitz pickup in order to be trusted to stay on the field on third downs. This is an area of his game that really needs work, and considering it’s a high priority in the Packers hurry-up offense, Hunt could play a limited role as a rookie if this doesn’t improve at the next level.
Despite not being a complete back coming out of college, Hunt would still fit well with the Packers, especially if they select him in the middle rounds. Because Green Bay will still utilize Ty Montgomery heavily in their offense, Hunt wouldn’t have to immediately factor in the passing game as a rookie. This would give him time to develop his ability in pass protection.
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