Hunter Bryant is not your prototypical tight end, but he's considered one of the top options at the position in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft due to his potential as a pass catcher. A dynamic athlete, Bryant finally showed what he was capable of last season at Washington because he was able to stay healthy. He may not be much of a blocker, but he clearly stands out in this year's tight end class because of his physical traits and his tantalizing upside as a big target.
Hunter Bryant Draft Profile
Bryant finally stayed healthy last season, and he delivered precisely the kind of breakout season everyone expected. He’s less of a traditional tight end and more of a supersized receiver, but he’s absolutely dynamic as an athlete. He’ll line up as an H-back or flexed out into the slot or even out wide and give opposing defenses fits, with the ability to separate with ease at the short and intermediate levels thanks to speed up the seam that must be respected — he goes 0-to-60 like a wide receiver. He has natural hands, consistently snatching and securing it away from his frame, with the ability to wall off defensive backs and make plays easily. He also tracks the ball effectively downfield. He’s great after the catch, a fluid mover with the ability to shake a tackle or two. His production came in Washington’s pro-style offense as opposed to a high-octane spread attack that would have inflated his numbers.
At this point, Bryant brings nothing as a blocker aside from the ability to get in the way. He’s not an option to put in-line early in his career, and he might never be considering his relatively undersized frame and generally lackluster effort as a blocker. The bigger issue for many teams will be his medicals, particularly after missing a chunk of his sophomore year after knee surgery.
There’s a lot of Jordan Reed in Bryant — both the good (the dynamic physical traits) and the bad (the significant injury concerns). But in a tight end class that seems a little bit short on true difference makers, Bryant has an impressive ceiling. If he stays healthy, he could emerge as the focal point of a team’s passing scheme.
Final Grade: 2nd round
(Top photo courtesy of gohuskies.com)