The New York Giants have signed Akeem Hunt as an undrafted free agent to compete for a spot in the Giants backfield. Hunt is a running back from Purdue with incredible speed. The Giants already have a three headed running back committee with Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen and Andre Williams. Do the Giants have a role for Hunt?
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Hunt is the Big 10 running back that you never heard of. From the same conference that had draft prospects like Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah and Tevin Coleman, Hunt is kind of an afterthought. Hunt though has great speed and is a threat to take any play to the end zone because of it.
Hunt ran a 40 yard dash of 4.36 seconds at Purdue’s Pro Day. Hunt was a pretty impressive rusher last season for Purdue. He rushed for 949 yards and scored 6 touchdowns on the ground. He also had 48 receptions last year for 293 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hunt had 38 receptions in 2013.
Hunt is not a bruising running back with power but rather a sprinter who is awfully hard to catch. I would have major reservations about this 5-10 183 pound running back surviving in between the tackles in the NFL. But I could see Hunt used as a Percy Harvin type playmaker.
He can line up as a slot receiver or in the backfield as a running back. If the Giants do decide to use him it will be as a pass catching option. We all know that Vereen will do most of that for the Giants offense but it may not be a bad idea to include Hunt in that role as well. Hunt is a different player, faster than Vereen.
Hunt is also a capable kick returner. He returned 2 kickoffs for touchdowns in his collegiate career. The Giants already have spent big money bringing in Dwayne Harris to be their kick returner.
It would be nice to see Hunt make the team because he is such a great athlete. That being said there is a reason he was an undrafted free agent. Hunt may be a guy who serves time on the practice squad and could end up getting promoted if an injury or two takes place.
Nov 22, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers running back Akeem Hunt (1) runs through the defense of the Northwestern Wildcats in the first half at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports
Hunt will get plenty of opportunities to shine in the preseason football games. He will have to put on quite a show because the Giants don’t really need him. When you’re cutting the roster to 53 men, its hard to carry four running backs.
Hunt has a lot of talent as a playmaker in the open field. Hopefully the Giants see it and he gets a real opportunity to shine in New York. It will be a tough battle for him to get on the roster on opening day, but its hard not to root for him. He may become a fan favorite in the preseason.