NFL Draft Spotlight: Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee

by Cory J. Bonini on March 26, 2010 @ 10:40:00 PDT

 


Tennessee senior running back Montario Hardesty is coming off a career season in which he rushed for 1,345 yards and 13 touchdowns after a largely subdued five-year stint with the Volunteers. He offers a unique combination of size, speed and versatility coming into the 2010 NFL Draft.

Strengths

  • Deceptive speed: ran 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash
  • Versatile: quality receiver out of the backfield
  • Size: well-built at 5-foot-11 3/4, 225 pounds
  • Capable of beating linebackers to the edge
  • Good vision to find cutback lanes
  • Breaks tackles well
  • Solid, willing blocker - not going to "wow" anyone but gives a good effort
  • Two-time team captain, considered of high character - great teammate
  • Agility and balance - nasty spin move and shows good effort to bounce off would-be tackles
  • Ball security
  • Understands complex routes and can be flexed out wide

Weaknesses

  • Runs a bit tall
  • One-year wonder?
  • Not particularly elusive
  • Average straight-line speed - not a home run threat

Expected draft placement

All of the knocks against Hardesty are minor. More or less, these so-called weaknesses are just ways of describing the type of player he isn't, and that's not a bad thing. If a team is looking for a midround value - perhaps a steal - Hardesty is fresh with only one year of extensive play despite being a five-year back. Hardesty is one of our favorite "sleeper" backs in the draft. He has the tools to be a full-time starter in the NFL, and in the right situation, he could have a starring role for many years.

Hardesty will likely be drafted in the late second round or by the end of the third.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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