Over at FanSided’s main page, they do a weekly 2013 NFL Mock Draft, and I always like to go over who they have the New England Patriots picking in the late first round. The most picked player has been West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin, with safety Matt Elam and offensive lineman Barrett Jones also being picks at points.
This week, Josh Hill has the Patriots selecting Tennessee Volunteers star wide receiver Justin Hunter, who is viewed as a mid-first round pick by some analysts. Hunter is solid value in the late first-round, and I could definitely see the Patriots picking him up if he’s available.
Here’s what Hill had to say about Hunter, “That’s Hunter; he’s a 6-foot-4 monster and while his ball skills have been knocked for his inconsistency, he’s a top-10 talent…”
Hunter’s draft stock has fallen a bit, because he isn’t the same explosive receiver he used to be. That’s because he tore his ACL, but Hunter is still a very good wideout after changing up his game a little bit to accommodate his new, post-injury skill-set. He has become a better route-runner and still has some nice vertical quickness.
The Green Bay Packers selected Tavon Austin one pick before the Patriots made their selection in the FanSided mock draft. I don’t mind selecting Hunter, and he reminds me of a less consistent version of Brandon Lloyd with a bit more speed. I feel terrible for Hunter, because that ACL injury took him from being a top ten prospect to a mid or late first-round choice. But I still view him as the second best pure wide receiver in the draft behind the elite Keenan Allen.
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