Hunter Bryant Can Be A Dangerous Offensive Weapon (2020 NFL Draft)
Hunter Bryant, Washington
Weight: 248 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.74 seconds
Vertical: 32.5 inches
Broad Jump: 115.0 inches
Hunter Bryant was one of the most intriguing names to monitor at the TE position heading into the 2020 NFL Combine. He had a solid 2019 season and showed the makings of a dynamic receiving threat from the middle of the field.
Bryant was listed by Washington as 240 pounds, which is certainly on the smaller size for the position. However, we’ve seen TEs like Evan Engram come out in recent years and show that they can make an impact flexed out from the formation. As long as Bryant tested well in the athleticism drills at the Combine, he was going to catch the eye of teams that needed that type of player in their offense. However, Bryant showed up to the Combine heavier than his listed weight and did not test as well as anticipated.
Now, there are legitimate questions about where Bryant fits in the NFL. Is he too small for an in-line TE role? Is he too slow for a move tight end role?
Those questions are answered here in my detailed scouting report on Hunter Bryant (ratings out of five stars):
As mentioned above, Bryant is not the biggest player at the position. He showed great upper body strength in the bench press, but he’s simply not going to be able to withstand the pass rush technique and size of experienced NFL edge rushers. He’ll be asked to flex out of the formation as a “big slot” player, which he did frequently at Washington, but his athleticism testing numbers now put that ability into question.
RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2
2019 All-Pac-12 First Team
2019 AP All-America Second Team
2019 John Mackey Award Finalist
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) February 28, 2020
Route Running/Ability to Separate
On tape, Bryant consistently shows established route-running ability and great separation. He’s a smooth and fluid mover in space and was used all over the field at Washington. He has great release off the line of scrimmage, particularly on slant routes, and has a great understanding of how to utilize leverage to put himself in the best position to make the catch.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 2, 2019
While Bryant wasn’t necessarily going to be the player that took a slant to the house, he possesses great speed for the position. His play speed indicated that he would be able to get off the line of scrimmage and get into the soft spots of zones quickly. However, his 40-yard dash time indicates that he may have tried to put on weight to play in-line at the next level, but lost his explosiveness in the process. On tape, he’s an explosive athlete, however.
#Washington TE Hunter Bryant (currently TE1 on my draft board) finished last night with 5 catches for 90 yards.
His stat line would have been even better if this TD wasn’t wiped out due to a penalty. Good example of his athletic skill-set though. pic.twitter.com/xDD6z5ioox
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) November 9, 2019
Hands/Contested Catch Ability
Bryant excels in contested windows and is consistently able to reel in some difficult catches. With that being said, he does experience the occasional concentration drop, but it’s not enough to be worried about that at the next level. He’s a natural receiver and will be able to make an impact at all levels of the field.
HUNTER BRYANT ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! pic.twitter.com/Q4tsaZi98k
— The Draft Network (@TheDraftNetwork) January 2, 2019
After the Catch
Bryant’s route-running ability allows him to get into wide open spaces in the defense regularly, which puts him in situations to create after the catch. As mentioned before, he’s not going to be the type of player that takes a slant to the house, but he’s a good mover in space and is able to turn upfield and tack on additional yardage fairly easily. The poor testing times bring this into question at the next level though and brings uncertainty on whether or not he’ll be able to consistently pull away from defenders.
Bryant’s size will limit his overall score in this category, but he has the effort and desire to stand in and be a contributor in the blocking phase of the game. He’s not going to move people off the ball, but he can stand his own. The question will be whether he’ll be able to do this at the next level against bigger, stronger, faster players.
Projected Draft Spot
As mentioned throughout the article, Bryant has a ton of questions surrounding him now as a NFL prospect. He’s sort of in-between what NFL teams need from the position and he may not excel at either type really well. Bryant’s testing numbers indicate that he’s too “slow” to play a big slot role in the NFL, but yet he doesn’t have the necessary size to stay in-line and block consistently. NFL coaches and front offices simply aren’t going to know what to do with him now, which is why we could see a drastic fall for Bryant in the NFL Draft. Going into the Combine, he was a round 2 type of player, but he’s now questionable to be drafted before the 4th round. Bryant’s best course of action should be to drop the weight he put on and attempt to improve his explosiveness. If he does that, he has the potential to be a steal for a NFL team and for fantasy football. If he doesn’t, he’ll be a very difficult projection at the next level that may not have a true position.
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