Sleeper RB Kareem Hunt could be a perfect fit for the Vikings

Toledo's Kareem Hunt might be a beast in the NFL, and the Vikings could get him in the middle rounds of the draft.
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When the new NFL league year starts March 9 the Vikings will undoubtedly have an answer about Adrian Peterson's future. If they fork over the $6 million bonus Peterson is due March 11 he's likely staying in purple. If they don't, he's probably gone.

Regardless, it would be nice to see Minnesota add depth at the running back position with a mid-round pick in the NFL Draft. Maybe that mid-round pick would turn to gold like Chicago's fifth-round investment in Jordan Howard did last year.

Vikings draft picks

  • 2nd round #46
  • 3rd round #80
  • 3rd round (from Miami) #86
  • 4th round #120
  • 4th round (from Miami) #127
  • 5th round #160
  • 6th round #201
  • 7th round #236

Pro Football Focus labeled Howard as the top sleeper running back in last year's draft. They nailed it. This year, Toledo's Kareem Hunt, a mid-round pick by most experts, is Pro Football Focus's top-rated running back.

Our top-graded running back last year at 94.5 overall, Hunt has a knack for making defenders miss and maximizing the yardage for each play. He plays with great balance, often causing defenders to bounce off him, leading to his forcing 76 missed tackles on the ground, second-highest in the nation. He’s proficient in the pass game as well, catching the ball and getting upfield quickly with dangerous open-field ability.

Hunt might worth a look if he's available in the third or fourth round. He torched the P.J. Fleck-coached Western Michigan Broncos to the tune of 200 yards on 20 carries last season. Fleck's Broncos still won the game by 20 and now he's leading the Gophers.

Sports Illustrated recently said at least two running backs – maybe four or five – could go in the first round. Like Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports rates Florida State's Dalvin Cook as the No. 1 back in the draft, ahead of LSU's Leonard Fournette. A scout told Bleacher Report's Matt Miller that four running backs will likely go in round one.

  1. Dalvin Cook - Florida State
  2. Leonard Fournette - LSU
  3. Christian McCaffrey - Stanford
  4. Alvin Kamara - Tennessee
  5. Joe Mixon - Oklahoma
  6. Marlon Mack - South Florida
  7. Samaje Perine - Oklahoma
  8. Wayne Gallman - Clemson
  9. Kareem Hunt - Toledo
  10. D'onta Foreman - Texas
  11. Jeremy McNichols - Boise State
  12. Corey Clement - Wisconsin
  13. Brian Hill - Wyoming
  14. James Conner - Pittsburgh
  15. Donnell Pumphrey - San Diego State

Basically, Minnesota is going to have to hit a home run by drafting a sleeper in the mid-rounds, like the Bears did with Howard last year when he went from being a fifth-round pick to a 1,300-yard rusher. Maybe Hunt is that sleeper.

The draft begins April 28.

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