The San Francisco 49ers likely need to find a running back in the early rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, and Toledo’s Kareem Hunt would appear to be on their radar. The team met with him at the NFL Combine, and had at least one scout on hand for Toledo’s Pro Day. Now, it appears they have done a bit more work. Draft analyst Tony Pauline is reporting the 49ers are one of 11 teams to either host Hunt for a visit, or put him through a private workout.
Hunt had a huge sophomore season in 2014, rushing for 1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns. His 2015 season was a struggle, suspended the first two games for a rules violation and dealing with hamstring and ankle injuries. He still finished the year with 973 yards and 12 touchdowns. He capped his college career in 2016 with 1,475 yards and ten touchdowns. He also had 41 receptions for 403 yards. Both receiving numbers exceeded his combined totals prior to that. He earned first-team All-MAC honors for that performance.
Hunt is looking like a late day two or early day three option for the 49ers. He’s got some solid size, standing 5’10 216 lbs. He’s not a speedy back, and scouting reports point to a guy with solid vision. Lance Zierlein compared him to Olandis Gary in his NFL.com scouting report. That would certainly be a fitting addition given Gary’s success under Mike Shanahan. Gary put up 1,159 yards as a rookie, but injuries short-circuited his career after that.
The 49ers running back depth chart currently includes Carlos Hyde, Tim Hightower, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, and Raheem Mostert. It’s safe to say they’ll be looking to add depth to the position. This year’s running back class is particularly deep, so waiting and grabbing someone like Hunt could make a little more sense than making a splash in the first round.