The RotoViz Running Back Prospect Sweet 16 Tournament matches the top incoming prospects in a head-to-head March Madness style format. Various RotoViz writers break down each matchup with the winner moving on to the next round.
Let’s get into today’s matchup!
(7) Nyheim Hines vs (10) Josh Adams
Matt Wispe – Nyheim Hines
Hines only had one meaningful season as a rusher, but it was his receiving production that makes him stand out as a prospect. Despite being used in a limited fashion as an RB, he compiled 63 receptions during his first two seasons. When you add in his speed, Hines looks like an exciting RB who should be available outside of Round 1.
Anthony Amico – Nyheim Hines
Hines is one of my favorite draft prospects, and he has the second most adjusted all-purpose yards in this class behind Rashaad Penny. Hines was dynamic as a runner, receiver, and returner for N.C. State, and blazed the 40-yard dash in under 4.4 seconds. That should have his draft stock rising and give him a better shot at landing an immediate NFL role. He looks the part of a third-round hit.
Blair Andrews – Nyheim Hines
This one is really close. Adams and Hines are almost the exact same age and have almost the exact same Dominator Rating. Hines gets the win mainly because of his receiving ability and the fact that he’s much cheaper to acquire. Of course, I’m irrational about WRs who convert to RB.
Cort Smith – Nyheim Hines
We know that RBs who find ways to contribute beyond just rushing yards tend to project well in the NFL. That’s Hines, who averaged 2.3 receptions per game and 10.5 yards per catch, in addition to pitching in on 2,171 kickoff return yards in his three-year career. Cheaper and a better receiver than Adams, I’ll take Hines.
Jordan Hoover – Nyheim Hines
Adams is an explosive runner and a prospect worth investing in, but Hines is custom built for the PPR formats. His blend of speed and pass-catching ability allows him to play in nearly all situations. Plus, you shouldn’t have to break the bank to acquire him.
Dave Caban – Nyheim Hines
While I would have liked to see Hines post a stronger agility score, he demonstrated the ability to contribute in a variety ways during his college career. This versatility will draw the attention of offensive coordinators and allow for the speedster to be used in a number of ways at the next level. While Adams is a solid prospect, Hines can find playing time via a number of avenues.
Jeff Matson – Josh Adams
Hines was the fastest runner in our bracket, and Adams didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the combine. I still have to take the demonstrated production of Adams over the impressive athleticism of Hines.
John Lapinski – Nyheim Hines
I may be lower on both these guys than others, but give me Hines who should have an immediate role in an offense racking up some PPR points.
Scott Smith – Nyheim Hines
Hines is probably the top-rated satellite back in the 2018 draft class. Offering a versatile skill set and a number of way to contribute, he should catch the eye of more than a few offensive minds at the NFL level. Hines offers elite speed and a WR background which should fit in well with today’s NFL. Adams quite frankly looks like just another guy. It’s important to wonder how much of Adams’ production is from his ability versus the great blocking and NFL-level offensive line he ran behind. I’m highly skeptical of Adams’ production and will err in the direction of the more athletic Hines.
Ryan Bobbitt – Nyheim Hines
I liked Adams coming into the season and then the Notre Dame offense cratered. I think he still has something to offer, but Hines has the versatility to be used as a rusher, receiver, and on special teams. Using Kevin Cole’s regression tree for combine drills at the RB position, Hines is immediately in the 27 percent success rate node based on his 40 time alone.
Hasan Rahim – Nyheim Hines
If you’re kicking yourself for not acquiring Tarik Cohen after he popped, fear not. If there’s a Cohen in this class, it’s Hines. His receiving and kick return production indicate he’s a big-play threat and can be utilized as a receiver out of the backfield. Given that he’s not the prototypical size for a RB, he could probably be drafted as a third-round flyer.
Adams provided some resistance, but ultimately this was an easy win for Hines. His versatile skill-set produced yards in all three phases (rushing, receiving, and returning) and was particularly alluring to our writers. We like Hines to have an immediate role in the passing game, and at 197 pounds, he could certainly take on a decent rushing load as well. We simply have not seen enough from Adams, who was a one-year feature back and did not participate in the NFL combine. Hines moves on to face the winner of Derrius Guice and Chase Edmonds.