Colorado State running back Dee Hart might be lost in the shuffle among one of the best college classes of running backs you might ever see, but he brings a unique skill set to the table that NFL teams are going to value.
Hart, at one point a five-star recruit of Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, couldn’t stay out of trouble off the field, and ended up transferring to Colorado State this past season. Hart exploded onto the college football scene this past year as a transfer for Jim McElwain and the Rams program, rushing for 1,275 yards and 16 touchdowns while also adding 18 catches and another two scores as a receiver.
Hart showed off a pretty complete overall game, with the ability to run hard on the inside, be a one-cut-and-go type runner outside the tackles, and soft hands as a receiver out of the backfield. His past will obviously cause NFL teams to take a second look and do some extensive digging in the pre-draft process, but the Rams program took a chance on him and it paid off in a big way.
Colorado State enjoyed a phenomenal season overall as a program, and will be sending another handful of players to the NFL this next season.
Following up for Kapri Bibbs, who ended up as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos, Hart didn’t put on quite as impressive a statistical display but he’s a talented player in his own right and we took to the tape to see exactly what it is he brings to the table.
Hart isn’t overly impressive on the hoof. He’s 5-9, 190 pounds and we’ll see at the Combine if he is any bigger or any smaller than his listed measurables. He runs a lot harder than you would expect a guy who is under 200 pounds to run. He has good quickness and suddenness to his running, but I really like the way he powers ahead and invites contact, churning his legs to gain additional yardage.
What you don’t see necessarily from Hart is game-breaking speed, though he could time out better than expected. If he runs in the low 4.5 range, I wouldn’t be surprised. I think there’s something to be said for a guy who can play such a good inside out game without world class speed. Hart sees the field well and makes quick decisions with his cuts. He has excellent vision and really developed well as a junior this past season in a pro-style offense.
What NFL teams will really value is his value to them as a third-down player. He is a very solid receiver out of the backfield, showing soft hands and a really natural after the catch ability.
There’s nothing really overwhelming about Hart’s game. He showed this past season that he is just a really solid back overall. He doesn’t possess one quality that stands out as far greater than the others, but he does everything pretty well. I think with the demand for running backs and the overall depth of the class, Hart could be a late round pick for some team looking for depth at the position. He has the ability to make a team and have an impact.