Kareem Hunt could interest Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 NFL Draft

Kareem Hunt has the potential to dominate in the NFL.

When you think of the top running backs available in the 2017 NFL Draft, you think of Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey. But Toledo’s Kareem Hunt should also be thrown into that group of elite running back prospects.

The 21-year-old Willoughby, Ohio native is currently projected to be a mid-round pick in the draft. If he is available when the Philadelphia Eagles pick in the third or even fourth round, they may just feel obligated to pull the trigger on the underestimated back.

In four seasons at Toledo, Hunt ran for 4,945 yards, breaking the school’s career rushing record previously held by Chester Taylor. His 44 career rushing touchdowns rank second in school history. After rushing for 1,475 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior, Hunt played in the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January, where he ran for 118 yards on 15 carries and earned North Outstanding Player Honors.

At 5’11”, the 208-pound back is a physical runner with the shiftiness to shake pursuing tacklers in the open field. He typically does a good job fighting for extra yardage and finishing his runs. His vision is impeccable and he has the awareness to generate yardage even if the play initially looks broken. As opposed to Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette, the top two running back prospects, ball security is not an issue with Hunt. On 856 touches at Toledo, Hunt fumbled just one time, which occurred in his freshman season. As a receiver, Hunt has a reliable pair of hands and is quick enough to beat linebackers in coverage. His senior season, Hunt caught 41 balls for 403 yards and a touchdown.

Hunt is a supremely underrated prospect leading up to the draft. While Toledo isn’t exactly known as a factory for NFL talent, Hunt has done everything possible to exhibit his rare set of skills as a runner. He’s a physical, shifty and responsible back with the ability to prosper at the professional level.

Eagles running back Ryan Mathews will likely be released prior to the free agency period. Darren Sproles, 33, will retire at the end of the 2017 season. The Eagles need depth at running back and Hunt would be a terrific addition to the Eagles’ already thin backfield.

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