Kendall Hunter

Falcons interested in running backs in draft

The Atlanta Falcons are obviously set at running back for 2011 with Michael Turner. However, that hasn’t stopped them from doing their homework on some running backs in this year’s draft class.

It appears as though the Falcons are looking to add a new dimension to their offense in the form of a home-run hitter to compliment the more physical Turner.

Hunter could make an immediate impact

The Falcons have met with (or are scheduled to meet with) Kendall Hunter, Mario Fanin, DuJuan Harris, Derrick Locke and Da’Rel Scott. All five have been clocked at 4.45 or faster in the 40 this offseason.

Despite the fact that running back is well down on the Falcons list of needs, don’t be shocked if they address the position fairly early in the draft. Coming off a 13-3 season, the Falcons are one of a handful of teams with enough in place for 2011 that they can afford an early luxury pick.

A player such as Kendall Hunter, who could be an option in the 2nd round, could immediately become a dangerous weapon on offense and change the way defenses game plan for the Falcons.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Falcons 2 Comments

Patriots looking to add speed on offense

Pre-draft workouts mean different things for different teams, but one team that isn’t afraid to tip their hand is the Patriots. Their draft visits are (surprisingly) often made public, and they often draft off the list of player’s they’ve visited with.

Among the players who worked out for and were lated drafted by the Patriots are¬†Patrick Chung, Darius Butler, Tyrone McKenzie, Brandon Tate, Julian Edeman, Aaron Hernandez, Devin McCourty and Rob Gronkowski. And that’s from the past two drafts alone.

Kendall Hunter could be a 2nd-round option for the Patriots

So far this year I’ve found reports of 21 players that are visiting the Patriots, and there’s one common thread linking most of them: speed.

Among the speedsters that Patriots have shown an interest in are five running backs – ¬†Ryan Williams, Derrick Locke, Kendall Hunter, Jordan Todman and Da’Rel Scott (who had the fast 40 time among running backs at the combine).

The Patriots have also shown an interest in some of this year’s faster receivers, including Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley, Cecil Shorts and Randall Cobb. They’ve also visited with Virgil Green, arguably the most athletic tight end in this year’s class.

With such a long list it’s tough to say who the Patriots are targeting at this point, but it’s clear that they’re putting a priority on adding athletes on offense. With four picks in the first two rounds, it’s safe to assume that Belichick will bring aboard at least one more weapon for Tom Brady.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Patriots Comments Off

Kendall Hunter scouting report

Kendall Hunter RB Oklahoma State
Ht: 5’7″

Wt: 199

Strengths:
Explosive runner who is a threat to take it to the house on every play. Elite speed. Experienced as a receiver out of the backfield. A tougher runner between the tackles than you’d expect for his size. Great vision. Hits holes with a nice burst and gets up to full speed quickly.
Weaknesses:
Missed time with an ankle injury in 2009. Doesn’t have the size to carry the full load on a weekly basis; probably limited to sharing the load or being used as a change-of-pace back.
Comments:
Hunter could be a nice complimentary player on a team which already has a true feature back in the backfield. His speed and his ability to make plays as a receiver will make him a dangerous weapon and will allow for his offensive coordinator to create mismatches in coverages. His upside is limited because he doesn’t project as a starter, but he’s the type of player that could get 100-150 touches per year in a backup role.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 Comments Off

NFL Draft Stock Watch

Nate Solder – OT – Colorado
Solder’s stock is in free fall after getting beat like a drum against Cal this past weekend. Solder, who is 6’8″, simply lacked the athleticism to keep pace with Cal’s speed rushers. His footwork was slow and he had trouble staying low enough to get his hands into their bodies. He entered the season as my top-rated offensive tackle – mainly because it’s a pretty weak group – but it’s unlikely he’ll remain in that top spot when I update the list.

Terrence Toliver – WR – LSU
Toliver entered the year as the top senior receiver (not that that title means much considering the mass exodus last year) but he hasn’t been a factor so far this season. He has just six receptions for 47 yards and doesn’t appear to be a big part of LSU’s game plan on offense.

Christian Ponder – QB – Florida State
Potential 1st-round picks rarely have a performance like Ponder’s against Oklahoma. He completed just 39.3 percent of his passes while throwing two interceptions. Oklahoma may have the best defense he’ll face all season, so this game will definitely stick in the mind of scouts.

Daniel Thomas – RB – Kansas State
Thomas is in the mix to be the first running back off the board in this year’s draft, and he’s already making his case. He’s racked up nearly 400 yards on the ground this season, including 234 against a respectable UCLA defense. On 49 attempts against UCLA and Missouri State he’s averaging 7.6 yards per carry.

Kendall Hunter – RB – Oklahoma State
Hunter leads all running backs in rushing yards this season (but trails Denard Robinson overall). He rushed for over 250 yards against Washington State and followed it up with 157 against Troy. Safe to say he’ll face some tougher defenses in the Big 12, but it’s still a nice start for Hunter.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft Comments Off