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2015 NFL Draft: Akeem Hunt, A User’s Guide

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Akeem Hunt can be a valuable NFL player for the right team.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

If you have speed, you will get a look in the NFL. Akeem Hunt has speed. He did not put up gigantic numbers in his four years at Purdue, but he was a steady contributor and home run hitter for an offense that lacked a lot of punch in his final two seasons. That alone might get him a shot with a team.

Production:

In his four year career Hunt often split time in the backfield, but he still rushed for 2,035 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also showed his versatility by catching 100 passes for an additional 841 yards and six more scores. He leaves Purdue 12th on the all-time rushing list in terms of yardage and his 949 yards this last season is the 14th best in Purdue history. He was also third in Purdue history with 1,747 career kickoff return yards, meaning he had over 4,600 all-purpose yards in his career. Only Dorien Bryant, Kory Sheets, and Mike Alstott left Purdue with more all-purpose yards.

So yes, Hunt can move the football from point A to point B, often very quickly. He had two career kickoff returns for TDs, and had a number of big runs and big receptions that he broke for scores. In all four of his seasons he had at least one run of 50 yards or more, and in three of four seasons he had at least one catch of 40 yards or more. Just this past season he had an 82-yard touchdown run and a 79-yard touchdown reception.

Strengths

Hunt is a speedster. He can break almost any play, but at the next level everyone will be fast. Hunt works best when he can get the ball in open space and make people miss. At his pro day he had a 4.40 and 4.36 as his 40 times. He also had a 37 inch vertical and, overall, was impressive:

Running back Akeem Hunt (5-9 3/4, 189) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 and 4.36 seconds. He had a 37-inch vertical jump and 10-foot-2 broad jump. He did the 20-yard short shuttle in 4.11 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.71 seconds. He performed 14 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Hunt really was impressive in the positional workout, looking outstanding catching the ball coming out of the backfield. Based on this workout, Hunt will be a draft choice, most likely in the late rounds.

Weaknesses

Hunt does not have the size to be an every down back, but in modern offenses that can be a good thing. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will serve him well. His quickness is only an asset when there is blocking in front of him. His worst season was his junior year, which coincided with just an awful offensive line in front of him. With improved play up front last season he was able to have a good year.

Projection:

Every team can use a third down back and a kickoff returner, and I think there is a home somewhere in the league because of that for Hunt. If he does not get picked in the later rounds he will be a valuable pickup in free agency with a legit chance to make a roster thanks to his big play ability.