Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter remains one of the 2013 NFL Draft‘s most enigmatic prospects, but it’s not too hard to predict what his Monday morning tweet meant for the prospects of his immediate future. “On to buffalo,”the 6-4, 196-pound burner told the masses.
Hunter rose up in a big way during the NFL combine — if he wasn’t at the forefront for teams needing a deep-burning receiver already — notching a 4.44-second 40-yard dash time and a 39.5-inch vertical leap. This is exactly what the Buffalo Bills have been missing opposite Stevie Johnson, and their welcoming of Hunter for a visit comes as little surprise.
Buffalo was met with limitations in recent years when it came to effectively utilizing this kind of receiver anyways with erstwhile Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s arm guiding the offense. The Bills did most notably take a shot with a speedy receiver in North Carolina State‘s T.J Graham — owner of 4.35-second 40-yard dash time — in the third round of the 2012 draft, but the early returns have been disastrous in catching 31 of 58 targets while dropping seven balls.
Whether you lay the most blame on Fitzpatrick’s underwhelming arm, Fitzpatrick’s drive-killing decision-making or Graham’s performance, the rookie wide receiver recorded the second-worst drop rate among NFL wide receivers who played at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps in 2012 according to Pro Football Focus.
Replacing Graham as the deep threat of the future could be another measure for starting anew by Bills Coach Doug Marrone, who many are speculating to take a quarterback with the eighth overall pick. If Hunter falls to the Bills at pick No. 41, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them snag the Vols receiver who notched 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns while factoring as a run blocker in 2012 — just one season after tearing his ACL.