Atlanta could use a running back of the future. Ohio State Buckeye Carlos Hyde is arguably the best running back in the draft this year. According to Vaughn McClure from ESPN, the Falcons held a private workout with the Ohio State talent.
Ohio State University
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 5'11-7/8" Weight: 230 pounds
Arm Length: 32" Hand Measurement: 9-5/8"
40 yard dash: 4.66 sec. 10 yard split: 1.65 sec. Bench Reps: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5" Broad Jump: 9'6"
2013: 12 Games Played, 208 Carries, 1,521 Yards, 15 Touchdowns, 16 Catches, 147 Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 2 Tackles
2012: 10 Games Played, 185 Carries, 970 Yards, 16 Touchdowns, 8 Catches, 51 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 2 Tackles
2011: 13 Games Played, 106 Carries, 566 Yards, 6 Touchdowns, 10 Catches, 73 Yards, 2 Kick Returns, 47 Yards
2010: 7 Games Played, 24 Carries, 141 Yards
Hyde is a mean dude. He runs angry and doesn’t let people take him down on the first hit. He’s a bulldozer when he needs to get just a yard or two. He also is great in goal-line scenarios. He doesn’t get knocked off center easily and can absorb hits like Michael Turner used to in 2008-10.
Much like Turner, he can be sneaky quick and shake defenders with his quick cuts and great vision. He also doesn’t have much wear and tear due to minimal usage in college. Add in some solid blocking, and Hyde is a very good running back all around.
Hyde doesn’t have the top end speed to break runs from any distance. He’s not a burner and is more of the grinding-style running back Steven Jackson looked like in 2013. He’s not an outside runner unless it’s on a slow-developing stretch play.
He drops a lot of passes and isn’t a great route-runner. He needs to develop as a receiver to provide more value in the NFL. He also needs to get better at picking up the blitz properly and making sure he doesn’t run into his blockers at the next level.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
During the summer of 2013, Hyde was arrested on assault charges and later was suspended by the Buckeyes, according to Paul Myerburg of USA Today. That’s not a great look for the Comrade Filter as guys with one arrest tend to get dropped off it.
Hyde will have to prove the incident is isolated and not part of his general character. He wasn’t a captain for the Buckeyes, though, and isn’t a freak athlete that would stand out for the Falcons. It’s an uphill battle here for the otherwise ideal running back.
Hyde is a great fit for a power running game and could wind up going higher than expected to a team that really needs one. The NFL loves guys who aren’t afraid of contact and want to deliver punishment to the defense instead of take it.
Hyde will end up starting early in his career and being a bell-cow back much like Eddie Lacy was in 2013. However, if that’s worth it for a team like Atlanta is the real question. He’s going to be a much higher pick than expected, and running backs aren’t worth that kind of investment.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, college football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.