In 2009, the Jaguars went against conventional football wisdom by keeping only two running backs on their final roster. The plan didn't backfire as fortunately both Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings were able to stay healthy and play in all 16 games. With the use of a 6th round pick on Southern Illinois running back, Deji Karim, the thought now is that the Jaguars will return to the traditional three backs on roster with Karim joining Jennings and Jones-Drew. An afterthought, however, has been undrafted free agent Chad Kackert of New Hampshire.
Similar to Jones-Drew and Karim, Kackert is a short running back at 5'9, 198 lbs. However, Kackert doesn't fit that same mold as he is built much more in his upper body as opposed to the lower body. Karim and Jones-Drew recorded similar measurables that featured strong vertical jumps and quick 10 yard bursts on their 40 times. Kackert's vertical jump is a very solid 38" that would have had him in the top 5 among running back at the combine, but it's his 27 bench press reps that leaps off the page. Those numbers would've been the top amongst running backs at the combine and with 4.43 speed, Kackert is by no means slow.
Watching the highlights you can't help but to love Kackert. What strikes me most in his highlights is the elite balance he displays and the strength that goes with it. He clearly puts his heart into the game and plays with a chip on his shoulder similar to that of MJD. However, the question begs why a player like Chad Kackert would go undrafted.
Usually for an undersized back to get drafted they need to have superb speed. While Kackert isn't slow, his 4.43 40 time isn't going to blow the roof off the NFL. Another thing that needs to be seen from a player trying to overcome coming from a smaller school like UNH is a lot of production against the lesser talent. Kackert only scored 10 TDs in his senior season and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Compare that to Deji Karim who scored 18 TDs his senior year and averaged 7.1 yards per carry with much more carries than Kackert. When he played against a stronger school in Villanova, he was shut down altogether, finishing with -10 yards on 11 carries.
In the hunt for the final 53 players, Kackert seems to be an afterthought, but in my opinion he could be a surprise once the pads go on. He'll likely have to beat out Deji Karim for a roster spot as they'll probably offer the same type of kick return specialist and change-of-pace role for the Jaguars. However he's already at an instant disadvantage considering the Jaguars invested a draft pick in Karim and that's a little harder to cut than an undrafted player.
Video Killed the Scouting Report
Chad Kackert: By the Numbers
Position 1: Running Back
Position 2: Kick Returner
|Class: Senior||Age: 23|
|Bench Reps: 27||
40 Time: 4.43