Justin Hunter, the Tennessee Volunteers star wide receiver, is reportedly taking his talents to the NFL after his junior season.
Tony Pauline, a draft analyst for SI.com and publisher of DraftInsider.net, has confirmed the announcement via Twitter.
Justin Hunter/WR/Tennessee, interviewing agents, deciding on representation and will enter the draft...— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) December 13, 2012
Hunter put together a solid campaign as a true junior, catching 73 passes for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns. He first put himself on the map back in 2010 as a freshman, when he hauled in 16 receptions for 415 yards, with a whopping seven TDs.
At 6’4”, 200 pounds, the Vols stud has the size and athleticism to play wideout at the next level and excel. He’s simply a physical freak and that’s something that many teams need to add to their receiving corps.
The knocks on Hunter are for his maddeningly inconsistent route-running abilities and slender frame. If he devotes himself to the weight room, doesn’t shy away from contact and works to run his plays better, he’s going to be a beast at the next level.
Another thing Hunter must improve upon are his ball skills, as his height and leaping ability should allow him to make a ton of plays, but his timing is a bit off and he’s not always able to high-point balls.
Regardless, the Virginia Beach native is projected by many to be a first-round pick, and has chosen a perfect class for which to declare.
There just aren’t enough talented receivers available, and he’s likely to be one of the first to come off the board. Only Keenan Allen of Cal figures to be selected at the position before Hunter.
It’ll be interesting to see where the Volunteers big wideout will land, and it will largely depend on how he performs at his pro day and combine workouts. As of now, we expect him to come off in the late first round.