Fantasy Impact: Tennessee Titans select Justin Hunter
Justin Hunter’s game begins with his athleticism. His track background was very evident at February’s combine where he posted a 39.5″ vertical and 11’4″ in the broad jump. At 6’4″ tall and 196 pounds his 4.44 in the 40 wasn’t bad either.
At the University of Tennessee Hunter was poised for a big season in 2011 when a knee injury cost him the year. In 2012 he seemed to be 100% physically but struggled with some of the mental aspects of the game. He was inconsistent catching the football and hasn’t proven to be physical enough for the NFL level. He’s just an average route runner but there’s still a lot to like.
His first season in the NFL will be his second removed from the knee injury. Many players aren’t fully recovered until two years after ACL surgery. He has shown good burst, agility and has the speed to make plays in the vertical passing game. He’s excellent in the air displaying outstanding body control and leaping ability. Hunter catches the ball at the highest point and should be used as a redzone weapon.
Hunter has the physic of a #1 receiver in the NFL but will need to develop his route running, play with more physicality, and catch the ball cleaner with his hands to reach that level. If he can improve in these areas and become a consistent reliable target the sky is the limit.
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference
Fantasy Impact: This pick is a nice upgrade for Jake Locker but not an ideal landing spot for Justin Hunter. Locker is still a work in progress at the quarterback position, the team remains committed to giving Chris Johnson the ball and they drafted Kendall Wright last season. Hunter may struggle to get enough targets this season for redraft leagues but could be used a lot in the red zone. I still think he has a bright future in dynasty leagues but as a Titan it could take even longer than expected for him to reach his potential.