Continuing the Pro Day circuit, Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Jim Caldwell attended the Toledo Pro Day to view several players they may be targeting as early as the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. Both running back Kareem Hunt and tight end Michael Roberts had a disappointing showcase at the NFL combine in Indianapolis but looked to redeem themselves a bit in front of a large number of scouts. Each bested their combine measurements a bit and were impressive in a number of drills teams put them through.
Hunt is one of my favorite running back prospects and will probably end up ahead of Dalvin Cook once I finish my pre-draft rankings, which will factor in all the off-field baggage for players. Like Ameer Abdullah, Kareem Hunt doesn’t have top end burner speed, and while has good explosion numbers and is expected to have good agility drills as well, he makes his living by using his vision and elite balance to keep moving forward and gaining extra yards. While no official meeting was announced, Lions running backs coach David Walker was in attendance at Toledo’s pro day.
The Lions also had their tight ends coach, Al Golden, in attendance for Toledo’s Pro Day and also met with tight end Michael Roberts according to Tony Pauline. Roberts came into the combine with the largest hands I’ve ever recorded for a TE (going back to 1999) and smaller than only a handful of players at other positions. He was unable to impress athletically either at the combine or his Pro Day, but teams will go back to his tape and see a willing blocker with soft hands.
Roberts was a beast in the red zone for the Rockets, putting up 16 touchdowns on the season. He also posted a respectable 45 catches for 533 yards, a 11.8 yard average per catch. Roberts improved each season for Toledo and while he isn’t among the superior athletes that have dominated the headlines of this draft class, he is certainly good enough on tape to latch onto a team as their second or third tight end and primary red zone target.