Prospect Profile: Montario Hardesty's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber profiles the top prospects eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft. Learn about Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty inside.

Montario Hardesty
School: Tennessee
Position: Running Back
Height: 6-0
Weight: 215
Projected 40-Time: 4.52

Star Rating: Grade: 81
Draft Projection: 3rd Round

Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:

85-100 = 1st - 2nd Round
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th Round
_55-69 = 5th - 6th Round
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA

In 2009, Hardesty took over as the Vols starting RB and had a breakout season.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Strengths: Hardesty is an athletic runner who has good size and quickness. He’s an instinctive runner who displays patience and uses his vision to his advantage. He runs with great balance and has the ability to quickly find the cutback lanes. He works hard, shows a burst through the hole and keeps his feet moving through contact. He holds the ball high and tight, protecting it from defenders. He’s a solid receiver out of the backfield and displays strength as a blocker.

Weaknesses: He lacks elite speed and isn’t elusive in the open field. He has trouble turning the corner and is forced to turn a lot of his runs up the middle. Durability is an issue.

Steuber Says: A first-year starter for Tennessee, Hardesty backed up Arian Foster for the last few years. He emerged in 2009 as a featured back and didn’t disappoint the coaching staff. He carried the ball 282 times for 1,345 yards and 13 touchdowns, not to mention 25 receptions for 302 yards and a touchdown. Hardesty doesn’t have the speed teams are looking for, but he’s quick enough to get through the hole and make an impact in the open field. He’s a solid third – fourth round selection.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the network and on If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.

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