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Vols' Hunter Brings Prototypical Size To Draft's Early Rounds


Name: Justin Hunter

Position: Wide Receiver

College: Tennessee

Height/Weight: 6-4/196

Age: 21 (born May 20, 1991)

Honors:Though he may have been overshadowed by teammate Cordarrelle Patterson, Hunter was named a second-team All-SEC wideout by both the Associated Press and the league's coaches.

Key Stat:First the good news, which is that Hunter provides plenty of big play ability. He racked up 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012 while averaging 14.8 yards per catch. On his nine scoring grabs, he averaged 26 yards. But the bad news: Only two of his nine touchdowns came against SEC competition – the other seven came against non-conference, rent-a-win opponents. His two SEC touchdowns were against cellar dwellers Missouri and Kentucky. 

Where He's Headed:Patterson stole the spotlight in 2012, as he showed off his first round draft grade in just one season, compared to Hunter's three. Hunter also had a nasty ACL injury in 2011 that's sure to make some question his durability. The Volunteer star showed elite speed to go with his massive frame at the NFL Combine, though, which should land him in the top 50 picks, if not the first round.

How He Helps the Cowboys:A lot of talk has centered on the Cowboys' potential to draft a shifty, slot-type receiver to open up the middle of the field. Hunter certainly isn't that, but he'd be a deadly long-term partner to Dez Bryant on the outside of the numbers. His arrival would probably move Miles Austin into the slot much more often, where the veteran would be a matchup nightmare.

Scout's Take:Outstanding frame. … Will play in the slot at times. … Has played all three positions during his career. … Able to avoid the press and get up the field. … Likes to catch the ball along his body. … Did make one adjusting catch when ball behind him and caught the ball in traffic. … Will go inside but can be a little hot and cold here. … Have seen him struggle when he feels like there is going to be contact. … Tried to catch the ball down the field against his body. … Did not extend like he should have. … Got some separation on the "9." … Doesn't play like he has great body control. … Stopped on a shutter go. … Ran his route out of the back of the end zone on another play. … Showed some wiggle with the ball in his hands. … Looks like he runs a better 40 than he does have speed on the field. … None look better physically than this guy, but can be very inconsistent in the way he catches the ball. … Have seen him get frustrated on film when things aren't going his way. … I would not be one bit surprised to see him go very early in the draft off his measurable. … There is plenty to work with here. – Bryan Broaddus

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