When your position coach tells you to find more strength and be a tougher receiver, things may not go as well for your rookie season as you hoped.
Tennessee Titans’ rookie pass catcher Justin Hunter will need to show massive improvements over the course of training camp to get back in the swing of things.
According to ProFootballTalk.com, “Hunter injured his hamstring during the team’s first OTA session, forcing him to the bench and leading wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson to tell Hunter that he needed to be tougher about fighting through injuries in order to be on the field for un-padded practices months before training camp.”
Those are not words that give your second round pick an idea that he is going to be a superstar in his first season. And as a receiver in a division with heavyweight passers like Houston’s Matt Schaub and Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, there needs to be a receiver with Hunter’s skills that can help Titans’ quarterback Jake Locker take the next step.
It should be noted that Hunter, “Was able to take part in practice for the first time since that fateful OTA on Wednesday, the second day of the Titans’ mini camp. Hunter did individual work and some team drills, even trying to jump into scrimmage situations before the team pulled him out.” This according to the same online report.
Tennessee already has speed on its team with Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and last season’s top pick, Kendall Wright. The Titans also have Chris Johnson in the backfield who can catch the ball across the middle and in the seam.
I like Hunter as a receiver and think he could have been better and probably a first-round pick had Tennessee been more of an offensive threat. As a fantasy player, it will be hard to pick him up if he is the fourth option from a receiving standpoint in Tennessee. Should his hands, balance and toughness improve, that could change.
For right now, he is nothing more than a waiver wire pick-up if he can show he can break out of the pack and score from anywhere on the field.