Scouting Report: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
Could be a starter from day one
Carlos Hyde is a tailback who we’ve had our eye on for a few years now. He’s been a very productive back for Urban Meyer at Ohio State and now he’s going to get his crack at the next level. After watching a good deal of Hyde, I am convinced that he’s a legit NFL back who should be able to start right away in most offenses, and excel as a rookie. Obviously, we do not know if he’ll get that chance yet, but while some backs are difficult to project when it comes to making the jump, Hyde is an easy call. The only drawback we really see is his off-field history and we’ll just have to see how the NFL weighs that factor.
So, what makes Carlos Hyde so appealing? Size is the first thing to mention, but size in and of itself isn’t worth much. Mediocre big backs are a dime a dozen. It’s what Hyde can do at roughly 235 pounds that makes him potentially special at the next level. He has quick feet and more burst than you usually see from a tailback his size. This is not the next coming of Ron Dayne. Hyde is a good fundamental runner who can help you as a pass blocker or as a receiver. His style is no-nonsense. You won’t see Hyde dancing in the hole. He’s a north/south runner who can make you miss and he can knock you over too.
Let’s break the former Buckeye down by category.
- Size - As I mentioned, Hyde is big and well put together. He measures up to the big backs in last year’s class, like Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy Christine Michael and Knile Davis. He has that same kind of size and ability, but with less to worry about in terms of injuries when compared to Davis, Lacy or Michael.
- Strength - Hyde has great natural strength and runs with good pad level. This, combined with his size makes him a very good short yardage runner and goal line back. You hear about backs who can move the pile. Hyde is one of those backs. He also breaks tackles and gets yards after contact.
- Vision - We are impressed with Hyde’s film. He hits the hole and he runs to daylight very well. This is definitely an area of strength for Carlos and it allows him to make big plays without having big time speed. In the film room, we nicknamed this kid “Chunky.” Not because he’s portly, but because he plays in a silver wrapper and he keeps ripping off chunk plays.
- Speed/Agility - We’ll see what he runs at the combine, but even if he is closer to 4.6 than 4.5, this is a player with good all around agility. He makes good decisive cuts and shows better than average balance. Hyde can bounce it outside like a lot of smaller backs and he’ll level folks as he turns the corner. He can put his foot in the ground and get upfield too.
- Receiving - This is a place where he separates himself from a lot of the other big backs. Hyde is a good receiver and once he has the ball, he’s obviously a load to bring down. When you look at his ability to catch the ball as well as run it, you have a player with legitimate every down potential.
- Pass protection - Urban Myers’ offense does not put him in traditional pass blocking situations very often, so there could be a growth curve in this area. Having said that, we see no reason why he would not hold up. He has the size and athleticism to get the job done, but this projects to be his biggest obstacle to every-down status as a rookie.
- Health/Durability - Hyde is healthy as we speak, and he’s been fairly durable. He missed some time with an MCL in 2012, but that’s in his rear view mirror at this point.
- Intangibles - We like the way he plays the game. No make-up issues as far we can tell. He did get suspended in 2013 for an off-field incident, and that’s the biggest red flag we can find with Hyde. We’ll have a decent idea what NFL security finds on draft day. If Hyde gets good grades here and runs well in Indianapolis, he is a lock first rounder on our board.
For those of you who’ve never seen Carlos play, you’ll want to watch this video.
I think you can see most of the qualities I spoke of at various points in that clip. For fantasy purposes, this is a player who has RB1 upside at the next level if he lands in a good offense. He is potentially the most valuable player in dynasty drafts depending on where he lands. Hyde could have outstanding rookie value if he’s drafted by a team like the Browns or Giants. My gut says he goes to Cleveland with their second pick at 26 overall. That would give new OC Kyle Shanahan a better version of Alfred Morris, who looked so good in the Shanahan offense the last two years.
It’s a long way to draft day. A lot can change between now and then, but get ready to draft Carlos Hyde in all leagues and get ready to draft him very early in dynasty and long term formats.
This scouting report will be updated after the Combine.
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