“I kind of have a thing for 220-pound backs that can run and catch and block,” said Brett Veach at his NFL Combine press conference.
The Chiefs general manager has a type. He likes his running backs to be as thick as Texas toast. On Friday afternoon, the Jaguars released former Ohio State Buckeye Carlos Hyde to clear cap space in anticipation of making a move at quarterback. This allowed Veach and company to pursue a player that fits the second year personnel executive’s liking.
While his stints in Jacksonville and Cleveland were short-lived, the 229-pound Hyde is not far removed from very productive years in San Francisco.
In his final two years with the #49ers (2016-17), new #Chiefs RB Carlos Hyde had 2,439 total yards from scrimmage with 17 TDs.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) March 9, 2019
Hyde is 28 years old and played collegiately at Ohio State. Spent four years in SF and split last season between CLE/JAX.
While his numbers don’t look particularly great from 2018, Hyde provides some traits that are already in the building for the Chiefs with the likes of the D-Wills, Damien and Darrel Williams. He has value as both a runner and pass-catcher in Kansas City.
Here are some things that he brings to the table:
The Chiefs' bread and butter in the run game is their zone concepts. Hyde has experience in it. Good vision and then contact balance to extend the run. pic.twitter.com/Ow3oHSCWm5— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) March 9, 2019
Hyde has experience in zone-run schemes, so he’s very familiar with what the Chiefs have historically leaned on in Andy Reid’s tenure. Here on this play, they’re running outside zone.
He widens with the blocks, shows good vision to find a hole and then puts his foot in the ground and cuts upfield. He shows good contact balance at the second level to finish the run for additional yards.
While he wasn’t utilized in the passing game all too much last year, Hyde is more than capable.
Hyde wasn't utilized in the passing game all too much last year, but he's shown some chops in his career. Plenty capable of running routes out of the backfield. pic.twitter.com/kOWQx5xkVC— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) March 9, 2019
That’s nearly 230 pounds of back running an angle route without issue and displaying soft hands. His route tree isn’t going to be particularly complex, but Hyde is going plenty good enough to run out on swings, flats or over the ball as a check down. You’re not limited if he’s on the field.
The physicality that Hyde possesses doesn’t stop just when he has the ball in his hands.
The tackle completely teed up this shot for Hyde, but it's still fun. You're getting a big, physical back with natural hands to add to the room. pic.twitter.com/f6Rju2xMOh— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) March 9, 2019
Hyde is sound in pass protection, and while this is more about the tackle setting him up to deliver a big hit, you can see that Hyde is willing and able to be trusted. He’ll have edge players feeling him as the game wears on if he’s tasked to chip and then release. It’s a good job by him as a late leak to get positive yards as a check down.
You’re likely not getting too many explosive plays from Hyde. This is his longest touchdown run of 2018:
This is the longest touchdown run of Hyde's season in 2018. You read that correctly. All five of his scores came from one yard out. Still showed solid vision and lateral agility to bounce and then cut back up for six. pic.twitter.com/PhqkKiwV8c— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) March 9, 2019
Somehow, Hyde wasn’t able to finish a play for six outside of the 1-yard line last year. Still, this is a nice play. It was solid vision to see the need to make a lateral cut to widen and then stick his foot in the ground and get back upfield to finish the run in the end zone.
This 22-yard run was the longest of Hyde’s 2018 campaign:
The longest run of Hyde's season was 22 yards. He sets his blocker up for success continuing to press wide before cutting back up inside behind the block and extending the run. pic.twitter.com/WkjQKaHfZR— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) March 9, 2019
While you wish he had more explosive plays under his belt last season, this is still a very nice run. Hyde sets the blocker up for success, widening until he’s in a position to cut upfield behind him. Hyde then goes on to show good hip fluidity and lateral quickness to extend the run. It’s a very nice play by the big back.
The bottom line
Hyde may not be a home run hitter, but he is going to have plenty of space to work with, considering all the pass catchers now surrounding him.
I expect him to have a bounce-back year with lighter boxes and a zone scheme that will suit him nicely. He’s yet another big back to add to the committee and someone that could handle the lead back if something were to happen to Williams. Considering his cap figure won’t exceed $2.8 million this season, Veach continued his trend of identifying good value at running back.
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