Kareem Hunt has just been selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 86th overall selection in the third round. Kansas City received the pick after trading up with the Vikings. This selection will place Hunt third on a depth chart currently occupied by Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West.
Some are calling the selection by the Chiefs organization a reach, and others are excited. I see plenty to like in redraft and dynasty but more on that later.
First, let’s take a look at the Kansas City Chiefs new running back, Kareem Hunt.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo, 6-1, 216
RB PROSPECT LAB DATA
|Player||Workhorse Score||Workhorse Rank||Player Predict Score||Player Predict Rank||Dominator Score||Dominator Rank|
|Kareem Hunt||68%||11th (of 36)||0.08||13 (of 28)||25%||24th (of 36)|
During his time with the Toledo Rockets, Kareem Hunt had a ton of success establishing himself as the every-down running back for that offense. His best statistics from college are his elite yards per carry of 6.8 over his career and his 3.2 receptions per game in his final season. Kareem Hunt offers a versatile skill set along with some stellar college statistics.
However, Hunt’s NFL Combine was disappointing; he ran a 4.62 forty and skipped the agility drills until his Pro Day. There, Hunt ran a 7.22 in the 3-cone drill, which didn’t provide any encouragement.
From Three Biggest Surprises in the 2017 RB Prospect Lab Rankings by Shawn Siegle:
Hunt surprised evaluators by coming in way below his listed weight at the Senior Bowl, but the 41 final-season receptions bolster his score. In covering him for our NFL Prospect Series, Aaron Butler emphasized his impressive age-19 season. In 2014, he crested 1,600 yards, averaged 8.0 per carry, and scored 16 TDs.
With a good combine he’ll look a lot like Charles Sims (49) and Shane Vereen (52). A more pedestrian performance would conjure less athletic comps in this range like Kadeem Carey (50) and Darrin Reaves (50).
Unfortunately Hunt draws the less athletic comps, as he comes out looking rather pedestrian, especially at the 3-cone drill. Hunt ranked as the ninth-overall RB in the RotoViz rankings.
On the positive side, Aaron Butler noted in his bowl preview article on Hunt that he had only one fumble in his entire career at Toledo. Hunt prides himself on this ability in interviews, and it may be a reason for Chiefs’ coaches to trust him early in his career.
According to RotoDoc’s Rushing Efficiency model, Hunt has landed in a giant tub of butter for opportunity and draft value. Charcandrick West had one of the worst z-scores in this model, and Spencer Ware ranked 40th among qualifiers for this metric.
Because Hunt has pass catching and early-down ability, he has the ability to fill the role of either West or Ware, should they be injured. Kansas City seems committed to Ware as the primary back, receiving around 70 percent of the RB snaps in games where he was healthy.
Hunt doesn’t flash in terms of any metrics we use here at RotoViz, aside from his workhorse score, which was the same as D’Onta Foreman, who was selected as the same round as Hunt. Further optimism can be found as Hunt finished 2016 as PFF’s highest-graded RB. According to PFF, he caused 19 missed tackles on his 39 receptions, adding to his pass-catching resume.
Most offensive conditions are stable in Kansas City, with Andy Reid on at head coach and Matt Nagy getting promoted to offensive coordinator. However, there is an undercurrent of change present as the Chiefs traded up in the first round to select Patrick Mahomes to backup Alex Smith.
If Hunt has a strong camp, I see no reason why he can’t earn enough snaps to return RB value. Hunt has it within his range of outcomes to take the receiving back duties from West or to threaten Ware for his portion of the overall workload. What I love about Kareem Hunt is that on the surface he’s second or third on the depth chart, which should allow you to avoid paying a premium in rookie drafts and redraft when going Zero RB.