By Justin Adkins:
The Eagles are set at the starting running back position with LeSean McCoy, who will get most of the scant carries the team’s offense provides. Not only is he explosive, exciting and productive, McCoy’s shown that despite his lack of size he has something more important — toughness.
That said, he still needs a quality backup.
With Jerome Harrison likely to be an unrestricted free agent whenever the NFL labor mess is resolved and who will probably move on to find more playing time, it makes sense for the Eagles to start planning for a replacement.
Enter Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter, a fast-rising draft prospect who is set to visit the Eagles, amongst other teams, according to NFP’s Aaron Wilson, citing a league source.
Hunter, 5-7, 199 pounds, is a scatback type drawing comparisons to the Chargers’ Darren Sproles. Hunter ran 4.53 and 4.46 second 40’s at the Combine, which isn’t burner speed but is fast enough. He also had a very solid 1.52 10-yard split, showing his quickness, to go along with a 4.21 20-yard shuttle and a 6.74 three-cone drill. His vertical leap of 35 1/2 inches and 10-02 broad jump demonstrated quality explosiveness. Hunter’s strength was on display as well with 24 reps at 225 pounds on the bench, a great number for a player his size.
A two-time All-American, Hunter was very productive in school, rushing for 1,548 yards and averaging 5.7 yards per carry as a senior, scoring 16 touchdowns. During his four-year career, Hunter gained 4,181 yards — good for fourth on the Oklahoma St all-time list — to go along with 37 touchdowns.
In his final season he was both an athletic and academic All-Big 12 selection, finishing behind only wide receiver and teammate Justin Blackmon as Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Hunter can also catch the ball out of the backfield as well as return punts and kicks.
Really, the only problem with the Eagles looking at him is that Hunter projects as a second-round pick, and considering the team’s glaring needs at positions like cornerback, linebacker, and the offensive and defensive lines, it’s hard to justify using such a high pick on a backup running back.
The position is a relative priority though, with the only other options being the barely CFL-level talent of Eldra Buckley, fullback Leonard Weaver coming off a devastating knee injury, and fullback Owen Schmitt, who should not be getting many touches regardless.
So yeah, someone needs to be brought in, and Hunter fits the type of back the team likes, but it’s unlikely he ends up an Eagle. Still not a bad idea to bring him in for a visit.
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