Justin Hunter: 2nd Round Steal with 1st Round Talent for Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans uncovered a gem when they moved up in the second round and selected Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Justin Hunter. Hunter is a first round talent that slipped to the second round due to concerns about his toughness and his inability to get separation. However, prior to his ACL injury Hunter had little trouble getting separation having some of his best games against current starting NFL corners Morris Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins, and Stephen Gilmore who were no slouches in their rookie campaigns.
Hunter began to hit his stride late into the Volunteers regular season, it just went largely unnoticed due a number of disappointing losses and being overshadowed by the electrifying play of his teammate and fellow wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Hunter appears to have finally regained confidence in his surgically repaired knee, ending his final collegiate season off with a bang finishing with over 1,000 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. If this is what Hunter was able to accomplish with a gunslinger at quarterback and sharing catches with another elite receiver, imagine what he could have amassed if he never suffered the injury?
The Titans receiving corps does not lack talent, only consistency and experience. Last year’s first round pick, Kendall Wright, had an exceptional rookie season, leading the team in catches and appears to be poised to have a breakout season. The Titans continue to be enamored with the talented but inconsistent Kenny Britt who has failed to duplicate his sophomore breakout season. Adding Hunter to the mix means that opposing cornerbacks will have to deal with a receiver who has the size to out jump you and the speed to run right by you.
Due to Britt’s latest bout with the law his future is uncertain, and it will not be a surprise if Hunter finishes the season as the Titans’ number one receiver. Hunter has always saved his best performances for the biggest games. Since every game in the NFL is a big game, the possibilities of him thriving in the Music City are favorable. For the Titans’ sake, let’s hope so.