Auburn football can break a nine-year drought of not having running backs drafted in consecutive NFL drafts in 2024 due to Tigers third-year running back Jarquez Hunter — who could follow Tank Bigsby, who was drafted with the No. 88 pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, on Day 2 of the 2023 draft.
“Before Tank Bigsby was selected in the third round Friday, Auburn hadn’t had a running back drafted in five years — since Kerryon Johnson in 2018,” 247Sports’ Nathan King prefaced before saying, “Could the Tigers now make it two in a row? Hunter touts a much different style as a ball-carrier than Bigsby, who fits more of the mold of a prototypical, one-cut NFL tailback. But there’s also plenty of value for a shifty player like Hunter, who will now get to display his full skill set for Auburn as the team’s top option in the backfield.”
King believes Hunter could play his way into having a difficult decision and a good problem with another step forward in 2023.
“If Hunter puts up impressive numbers and continues to improve as a player — as he’s done through his first two seasons with the program — he’ll at least have a decision to make at the conclusion of his junior year,” King wrote.
Auburn football RB Jarquez Hunter has ‘really good chance’ to lead SEC in rushing
High expectations are expected for the next potential Auburn football RB selected in the NFL draft. According to Mike Farrell Sports’ Matt Perkins, Hunter has a “really good chance” to lead the SEC in rushing during the 2023 season.
“The departure of Tank Bigsby, coupled with the offensive system brought in by Hugh Freeze, make Hunter a big-time breakout candidate in 2023,” Perkins wrote. “Retaining Cadillac Williams on the coaching staff will also be a blessing for Hunter, who has a really good chance to lead the SEC in rushing.”
With an improved line built by Hugh Freeze via the transfer portal, Hunter could perhaps surpass Bigsby’s production on the Plains despite being a less-heralded recruit.