I was listening to an old "First Draft" podcast by ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, and they started talking about how impressive Justin Hunter's combine was. Now, we all know that Hunter is an athletic freak, but they made a very interesting comparison. In the spirit of their comparison I am going to give you the numbers and clippings of scouting reports of three players. One of these players is Justin Hunter and the other two are elite-caliber wide receivers, look at the similarities.
|Height||Arm Length||Weight||Hand Size||40-yard dash||Vertical Jump||Broad Jump||20-yard shuttle|
|Scouting Clips: NFL-ideal reciever size, shows elite body control, will drop routine pass on occasion, needs to show more consistency catching in trafic|
|Scouting Clips: Prototypical height for an outside NFL reciever, will line up in the slot to test defenses over the middle, will be a threat on jump balls, inconsistent hands|
|Scouting Clips: Prototypical height, very good speed, big play threat, outstanding combination of deep speed, height, ball skills and leaping ability needs more physicality while run blocking.|
Player A is Julio Jones, Player B is Justin Hunter and Player C is A.J. Green. The similarities in some of their numbers are uncanny. All posses ideal height, great arm length, substantial deep threat ability, and needed to work on hand consistency. On paper Hunter seems like he is the ideal mix of the best of both of these players. He is faster the Green, bigger than Jones, and has better leaping ability than either.
While you can't put a ton of stock in the combine, wide receiver numbers combined with scouting reports are usually pretty consistent. Hunter wasn't just a freak athletically, he was really putting it all together before he sustained a knee injury.
If he can take the leap in camp and get back to his pre-injury form then a 2nd and 3rd round pick may seem like nothing compared to the steal they pulled off.