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Oklahoma State’s Hunter knows the value of pass protection

Rookie running backs that played in college spread offenses often struggle for immediate playing time in the pros because they haven’t learned to pick up oncoming blitzers.

Oklahoma State tailback Kendall Hunter is different. He’s drawn raves from draft analysts Mike Mayock and Todd McShay for his pass protection skills, and spoke of the underrated trait Friday at the Combine.

If you can’t block, you ain’t playing,” Hunter said, according to the Rams blog “…At practice, you be blocking all the time. You go against linebackers every other day.”

Hunter is only 5-foot-7 and 199 pounds, but uses his size to his advantage.

“It doesn’t matter what size you are, if you can play, you can play,” he explained. “You can run under people, set up your blocks. Because the linebackers really can’t see you all the time. You can just be patient and cut off the block.”

Among draft-eligible running backs, Hunter’s career yards-per-carry average of 5.91 was one of the best in this class. Hunter is expected to be a second- to third-round pick.

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3 Responses to “Oklahoma State’s Hunter knows the value of pass protection”
  1. taco87 says: Feb 26, 2011 3:09 AM

    It’s good to pick up a back that can and values blocking just as much as touching the ball. Sounds like he has a bright future if he slips would like the 49ers to pick him up.

  2. allthingspigskin says: Feb 26, 2011 8:22 AM

    This type of guy will be a great mid to late round value. The Bungles could use this type of character guy. Unfortunately, they are waiting to see which guy fails a drug test to figure out where they can get some value.

  3. edgy says: Feb 26, 2011 10:31 AM

    Let’s try this again:

    If Jimmy Johnson were to draft Smith in the first round these days, he’d have been roasted over the coals for drafting a guy that was deemed too slow and too small (and was a hell of a blocker).

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