Two of Purdue's running backs that graduated this year have signed free agent deals today with NFL teams. Akeem Hunt has signed a deal with the New York Giants and Raheem Mostert with the Philadelphia Eagles. We are still waiting on news that some of the other former Boilers have signed similar deals, but we'll let you know as soon as we can if it happens.
Akeem Hunt is fast. He ran a 4.4 and 4.36 40-yard dash at his pro day and broke free for some long runs and receptions these past few years in West Lafayette. As Travis pointed out in his draft preview last week, Hunt had at least one run of 50 yards or more in each of his four seasons at Purdue, and he had at least one catch of 40 yards or more in three of his four years. In 2014, he had an 82-yard touchdown run and a 79-yard touchdown reception.
Hunt had a heck of a career as a Boilermaker, finishing 4th all-time in all-purpose yardage. He is also 12th on Purdue's all-time rushing list and 3rd all-time in kickoff-return yards. He totaled 19 total touchdowns over his four-year career.
As one of the few bright spots for Purdue football these past couple of seasons, I look forward to seeing Hunt compete for a spot with the Giants. He might find his way on the field as a kickoff returner but he doesn't have the skillset to compete for a consistent running back spot. However, they could end up finding a way to use him as a slot receiver or perhaps as a change-of-pace back running jet sweeps and tosses out of the backfield like he did at Purdue. Hunt could definitely add depth for New York in a couple of different places, but he has serious potential to see some action on the field with his speed and big play ability.
Good luck in New York, Akeem!
Officially a Philadelphia Eagle! Excited to start my NFL career in Philly! #FlyEaglesFly— Raheem Mostert (@RMos_8Ball) May 2, 2015
Raheem Mostert is also very fast. He was the "Fastest Man in the Big Ten" last season, winning the conference's Track and Field Championships in the 100 and 200. He runs a legit 4.3 40 and possesses absolute blazing speed. Once he hits open space, there are very few people that could even hope to catch him.
Although he did outperform expectations in some of the power events at Purdue's NFL Pro Day, Mostert will most likely only see action in the NFL as a kick returner. As a Boilermaker, nobody else has more kickoff returning yards than Mostert's 2,289 career yards. He led the nation in kickoff return average in 2011.
If Raheem is going to compete for a roster spot with Philadelphia, it's going to have to be on special teams where he will be competing against guys like Josh Huff and Darren Sproles who are also very fast. Or, perhaps Chip Kelly has some evil genius mastermind plan to use Mostert somewhere else. Who knows?
All I know is that I'm extremely proud of Mostert for signing a deal. We wish him the best of luck going forward as a Philadelphia Eagle. Congrats, Raheem!