RB Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
After only three seasons at North Carolina State, Nyheim Hines declared for the NFL draft, despite just having one productive season throughout his collegiate career. With 1,113 yards and 12 touchdowns in his junior season, his rushing production in 2017 accounted for nearly 80% of his career rushing totals. Despite not having the most impressive rushing stats, Hines averaged 311 yards and 30 receptions through the air, contributing almost equally in all three years. At the combine, Hines absolutely burned the 40-yard dash, finishing with a steamy time of 4.38 seconds. Although he finished atop the running back speed list, Hines’ other measurables are average at best. With a 7.18-second three-cone drill and a broad jump just under feet, Hines’ overall athleticism and shiftiness are definitely in question.
The Scout’s Notes
Hines is a prototypical third-down running back who is best utilized in the pass game. He is a good pass catcher who runs a diverse route tree out of the backfield. Once the ball is in his hands, Hines shows an ultra-quick burst that is able to hit top speed almost instantly. He has good vision and is able to hit the correct running lanes to gain the most yards possible. He shows good agility and twitch in efforts of avoiding defenders. He is light on his feet and does a solid job of avoiding contact; however, when defenders are able to put hands on him, consider him toast. Hines shows little power and ability to drive through tackles. He will not be asked to run in between the tackles in the NFL, as he is extremely uncomfortable when he is not in space. He will not play on first and second downs, but should he be able to improve his cutting and twitchiness, Hines should carve out a Tarik Cohen-like role in the NFL.
With a 5’8” 198-pound frame, Hines will not contribute in the running game for the Indianapolis Colts, who selected Hines with the fourth pick in the fourth round of the draft. Although the backfield currently consists of Hines and Marlon Mack, expect Mack to handle work on all three downs while Hines occasionally mixes in on third down and possibly even as a slot receiver. Despite the multiple ways he can contribute on offense, Hines’ ceiling is very capped and will likely not make any major fantasy impacts. At best he will be a bye-week fill-in who catches a few passes against a soft defense. His current rookie draft value sits in the back half of the second round, which is enormously pricey for this kind of player. He will be more valuable to the Colts than he will be to dynasty teams. Take a flier on Hines in the late third or early fourth round and hope he can fill in for a couple weeks per season.
The first play, beginning at 1:01, Hines is lined up at running back in the pistol formation. The play is an outside zone stretch concept where his job is to follow his blockers and either take the ball outside the tackles or find a hole to cut upfield. Hines takes the handoff, slows down behind the offense line, and is quickly met by two defenders who bring him down with ease. Although the defensive line penetrated well, Hines needs to visualize more quickly and avoid the immediate take down.
At 4:22, Hines is lined up at the quarterback’s right hip and runs a swing route out of the backfield. Immediately after his three-step drop, he hits Hines in the open field and lets his running back go to work. He evades two defenders with spin moves and accelerates for a gain of about 13 yards. This is how Hines will best be utilized in the NFL.