The Chiefs Kareem Hunt is one of the best all-purpose backs in the NFL. Not only do his second-year numbers support his case but Hunt’s on-field performance in just six games keeps getting better. Hunt primarily makes a solid case for a second Pro Bowl appearance, since he played in the NFL all-star game as a rookie.
The Chiefs drafted Hunt in the third round (86th overall) of the 2017 NFL draft. When watching his body of work, one would think his draft position was between the first and second rounds. Hunt is a fantasy football monster pick since he runs inside and outside of the offensive tackles in the Chiefs’ West Coast offense. He has the soft hands of a wide receiver to catch the ball out of the backfield. His ability to receive the ball in full stride on a downfield go route makes Hunt a matchup nightmare.
Hunt’s stats for 2018 place him on the fast track for another 1,000 plus season rushing. Right now at six games, Hunt has 456 yards rushing on 103 carries and four touchdowns with an average of 4.4 yards. He rushed for 1,327 yards on 272 carries and eight touchdowns in 2017. The 4.9 rush average placed Hunt amongst the elite backs in the league.
The Chiefs offense does not flow without the furious four of Hunt, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and the lightning bolt receiver Tyreek Hill. Mahomes is the central nervous system of the Chiefs offense and Hunt is the heartbeat, along with Kelce and Hill.
Taking Flight From Ohio To NFL Stardom
Kareem Hunt was under-recruited out of high school and ran the football angry with a chip on his shoulder as a result. What he took was the high road looking for the right opportunity to prove the non-believers wrong. Hunt’s high school career saw him rush a total of 2,519 yards with 39 touchdowns as a junior, while in his senior year he improved in both with 2,685 yards rushed and 44 touchdowns at South High.
The little known three-star athlete had two scholarship offers from Power Five conference college football teams coming out of high school. Overall the South high school star received college offers from the likes of Pitt and Minnesota.
Hunt exhibited elite athleticism based on Tracking Football Player Index by scoring a 4.75/5.0. His score ranked third out of 26 running backs drafted in the 2017 NFL draft. Hunt’s track and field aspirations were endless since he once ran an impressive 10.80 time in the 100-meter relay while at South High on a 5’10″200 lbs. frame.
During his college playing career, he earned Second-team All-MAC (2015). And two times on the First-team All-MAC (2014 and 2016). He finished his football career at the Toledo Rockets with 5,500 rushing yards on 855 plays from scrimmage for a 6.4 average and 45 touchdowns.
The NFL recommended Hunt to stay in school an additional year as a junior. There were concerns related to his on-field durability and weight fluctuation.
He continues to play football in the NFL with a chip on his shoulder and going all out on every play for yards.
Hunt Versus Fantasy Football Rankings
Currently, Kareem Hunt ranks eighth in the NFL Fantasy Football PPR moving into week seven against the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are looking to rebound and Hunt had 24.50 points against the Patriots in week six. Hunt’s Fantasy PPR projected to finish at 18.5 points against the Bengals. His PPR numbers will continue to rise as long as he stays healthy.
A Big Payday Right Around The Corner
Based on Hunt’s continued ascent to his highest playing level, there is still a great deal of his talent to be unleashed in the Chiefs West Coast offense. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is a genius when devising mismatches for the star RB. The Chiefs utilize Hunt similar to former 49ers great RB Roger Craig on those championship San Francisco teams.
Hunt signed a four year, $3,285,722 contract with the Kansas City Chiefs, including a $775,952 signing bonus, $775,952 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $821,431. In 2018, Hunt will earn a base salary of $575,250 and a workout bonus of $9,000, while carrying a cap hit of $778,238 and a dead cap value of $590,964.
He becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021 but chances are he will renegotiate for a more significant long-term deal, based on his numbers over the next year.