Prospect: Justin Hunter, WR, TennesseeJustin Hunter

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 196 lb.

Athleticism:

  • Incredible athlete with size and speed combination, also has potential as a leaper
  • Has long speed to go the distance with the ball in his hands and room to run or to win over the top
  • Very lean of frame with a lack of strength and physicality
  • Has untapped short-area quickness shown in flashes

Route Running:

  • Most routes lack precision, rounds of cuts instead of planting, double moves lack patience as well
  • Shows a developed ability to leverage defensive backs away from the ball in the air with his body on deep throws
  • Combats press coverage by simply trying to run around defenders, high number of wasted steps
  • Too easily leveraged off his routes by physical corners, unable to counteract with strength of his own

Hands:

  • Typical “body-catcher” who will allow the ball into his chest if possible
  • Heavily plagued by concentration lapses as a pass catcher even when he catches the ball with only his hands
  • Unable to win most 50/50 balls in the air, lack up upper body strength does him no favors
  • Occasionally bobbles the ball and has to catch it twice after it hits his chest, allows defensive backs a window to get their hands to it
  • Has an adequate radius with long arms, too inconsistent making catches while extended though
  • Ability to supplement his size with ability to highpoint the ball as a leaper very rarely shown

Running/Return Ability:

  • Efficiency after the catch inconsistent, will dance or go backwards too often
  • Sudden feet after the catch with ability to make one man miss with some consistency
  • Lacks the strength or frame to pick up tough yardage, occasionally goes down voluntarily to avoid hits

Leadership/Intangibles:

  • Very little experience as a run blocker due to prevalence of spread concepts
  • Gives adequate effort as a downfield blocker, will sustain his blocks
  • Emotional player, gives charismatic reactions after successful and unsuccessful plays
  • If he gets involved in the passing game early on, his concentration and confidence are much higher

Overall:

Justin Hunter’s game revolves around his athletic ability.  That’s not all bad.  It has hindered his ability to develop the nuances for the position like precise route running though.  This means that he will have a clear adjustment period in the NFL, even though he’s still a better athlete than most defensive backs.  Hunter’s lack of consistency will make him more of a big play type receiver than an every down security blanket.  It may not be entirely realistic to expect a ton of improvement in his ability to reliably catch passes when he just doesn’t look comfortable using only his hands.  Hunter looks like the kind of receiver who will end up relying on his quarterback much more than his quarterback will rely on him.  Despite all the knocks on him though, he has the kind of size and athletic ability tons of players dream of.  He was off to an incredible start to his sophomore season before tearing his ACL 3 games in.  He seemed to have it back to full strength by the start of his junior season, but the injury history is worth noting.  Drafting Hunter in the first round would be taking a big risk.  If he’s not asked to be an every down, #1 guy as a rookie it will go a long way towards developing him into a top tier wide receiver.

Originally published at DetroitLionsDraft.com: Justin Hunter Scouting Report

Advertisements