Position: Running back
Weight: 197 pounds
School: N.C. State Wolfpack
Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds (best among running backs)
Vertical jump: 35.5 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 11 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.18 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.35 seconds
Nyheim Hines 2018 NFL Draft Profile
2018 figures to be a banner year for N.C. State draft prospects. It’s possible that the program could have seven players selected by NFL teams in April’s draft which would set a new school record. Twice before have the Wolfpack had six of their former players come off the board at some point (2006, 2012). Though Bradley Chubb is garnering the most headlines this year, others will have their own opportunities to make an impact at the next level. Running back Nyheim Hines is one of them.
The reigning school record holder in career rushing yards and touchdowns at Garner High in the Raleigh, NC area, Hines was the 94th ranked recruit in the nation according to Rivals. He had scholarship offers from a multitude of big-name programs including Clemson, Florida and Ohio State among others. But Hines decided to stay close to home, committing to N.C. State in what had to have been looked at as a recruiting coup by Dave Doeren and his staff in 2015.
Hines didn’t figure into the run game much as a freshman or sophomore with Matt Dayes getting a majority of the reps. But he excelled on special teams in both years. He averaged 851 kickoff return yards per season, returned two kicks for touchdowns, and ranked no worse than 14th nationally in return yardage during that time. Hines took over lead back duties as a junior after Dayes graduated and proved what he was capable of. His 1,112 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns ranked fourth and fifth in the ACC respectively. He also remained potent on special teams, tallying 604 combined yards and returning a punt for a touchdown.
- has a track and field background which jumps out when he’s in the open field;
- speedy around the edge on jet sweeps and end arounds;
- exceptional burst and acceleration with an extra gear to elude downfield;
- possesses good vision to find creases ahead of him;
- a playmaker in space who can improvise to get extra yards;
- good center of gravity can keep him upright after contact;
- logged plenty of reps in the slot;
- capable as a threat in the passing game with 311 receiving yards per year in college;
- potential big play back with three touchdown runs of 50+ yards in 2017;
- sky high value as a special teams ace.
- obvious concerns about him being undersized for an NFL back;
- tends to walk into hits against much bigger players;
- fast in a straight line but not a lot of lateral twitch;
- doesn’t transition into cutback lanes with enough pop;
- needs improvement as a pass blocker;
- despite pass game experience, not the most capable pass-catcher;
- just one year of starter level reps at running back.
NFL Comparison: Ronnie Hillman
Projection: Late third to early fourth round
After the emergence of Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara last season, NFL teams will invariably be on the lookout for mid-round steals at running back this year. Hines shows flashes of that skill set at times but is inconsistent as a pass-catcher and his size may inhibit his every-down value. His paciness certainly stands out, though, and he put it on full display with the fastest 40 time among running backs at the Combine. Look for teams with an established player at the position who employ a lot of outside zone runs to target him as a secondary or tertiary option on the ground.