College: North Dakota State
Weight: 230 lbs.
One of the most high-profile NFL prospects to come out of North Dakota State in a while is fullback Hunter Luepke. He’s a bruising runner that also has the finesse of a wide receiver and isn’t afraid of contact in the slightest. His unique play style has helped NDSU claim two national titles during his time on the field in Fargo. Finishing his college career with 1,665 rush yards, 494 receiving yards and 33 total touchdowns, Luepke is poised to be the next in a long line of Bison greats to get drafted into the NFL.
One thing that makes Luepke so dangerous is his versatility. Not only is he an extremely strong runner but he is also an effective pass catcher. Coming out of the backfield, Luepke is a solid route runner with the savvy to slip past defenders and he has good hands to go with it. For all he can do as a receiver, though, Luepke is also very tough when running the ball.
His explosiveness off the ball is something that makes Luepke so difficult to defend. By the time defenders make contact he already has a head of steam and is tough to bring down. His strength allows him to power through tacklers and his athleticism makes it possible for him to break free when left in space. He is a true multi-threat player.
Luepke is also fast, running a 4.57 40-yard dash at North Dakota State’s pro day. He also completed the shuttle drill in 4.31 seconds and finished the three-cone workout in 7.03. That speed often allows him to break to the outside easily on pitch plays as well as handoffs when moving parallel to the line of scrimmage/
If there is any concern around Luepke’s game its that he may rely on his brute strength too much, at least according to some scouts. Several have noted that he possesses “average” creativity as a ball carrier when it comes to vision. Fortunately, though, that is a very coachable aspect that will likely be ironed out once he gets into an NFL training routine.
Final Analysis: Luepke is one of the best all-around fullbacks we’ve seen in quite some time thanks in large part to his above average athletic ability for a player his size. He’s versatile, tough and experienced in several facets of the game which should make him an attractive prospect for GMs and scouts across the league. Don’t be surprised if you see Luepke take reps on special teams as well as offense once he enters the league. He may not be a starter right out of the gates but with the right coaching and training he’ll see the field soon.
Projected Selection: 3rd Round (Day 2)