Today we'll be looking at a local product that will stay instate for the beginning of his professional career in former Volunteers receiver Justin Hunter. Happy Memorial Day everyone!
Player Name: Justin Hunter
Position: Wide Receiver
Height/Weight: 6'4 196
School/Class: Tennessee, Junior
Measureables: 4.44 40, 39.5" vertical jump, 11'3" broad jump, 4.33 20 yard shuttle
- Measureables - The physical tools for him are off the charts good. You don't find 6'4 200 receivers with 4.4 speed everyday in this league. A potentially great red zone asset for Locker to tell him to go up and get it. The catch radius is huge. Enough said about that.
- Speed and agility - He has that deceptive gear that defensive backs are often caught unawares until its too late to recover once beaten. Hunter is a long strider that can blow the top off a defense in an instant. He also has just enough of an arsenal of moves to shake defenders at the line.
- Great Routes - Hunter isn't your typical freelance, go run around and bail out your QB with insane catches superstar receiver that doesn't know how to run routes. He's a proven and solid route runner, one of the best in the class at it. Hunter is great at deceiving his defender(s) by varying the speed and depth of his routes.
- Blocking - Hunter, while possessing immense natural talent and skills, isn't the greatest run blocker in the world and gets pushed around rather easily for a guy with his frame. The good news is that run blocking can be taught and practiced endlessly until he gets it right.
- Drops - Is it a side effect of being too worried about his 2011 knee injury or something more? He had some pretty atrocious drops last year, often times game changing ones like the one late versus Florida that could've kept a drive alive. One has to hope that it was just him being worried about his knee holding up.
- Frame - While he is 6'4 196, it's a wiry looking 196, he needs to gain some weight to make it through the rigors of a full NFL season. The weight gain is also needed for him to get more physical with the NFL level DBs coming his way. My phrase for it: he needs a burger or four. A few trips to the fine dining establishments located in Nashville with Chance Warmack and Brian Schwenke should do the trick.
I really liked the pick, even if it came with the cost of further replenishing of 49ers' annual 4000 draft picks collection fundraiser (seriously, they still have a ton of picks next year even after dealing some away.) The pick has to be out and out Kenny Britt insurance if he has a case of the off field stupids again or decides to suck on the field in 2013. Hunter also allows Kendall Wright to move into the slot where he is better suited to become more of an impact playmaker. With the good chance that Britt walks after 2013, Hunter can team up with Wright and provide Jake Locker (or insert flavor of the month QB draft pick should Locker fail) with a potent inside-outside receiver duo to grow up with.
It will be an interesting camp battle to watch between the lower rungs on the receiver depth chart with Hunter possibly demoting Nate Washington and Damian Williams. We've already had one receiver sent off the roster in LaVelle Hawkins as a result of the Hunter pick. My money is on Marc Mariani leaving the team over the legendary Super Bowl bringer of magic Michael Preston unless Mariani significantly improves as a receiver.
The rest of my reports: