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Comparing Justin Hunter to Some Past SEC Receivers

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One of the things that’s really difficult to do as it relates to Justin Hunter is know exactly how much we should price in his recovery from ACL surgery into our draft thinking.  It seems reasonable to assume that it probably affected his season last year.  It might even be possible that Hunter isn’t fully back from the knee and that was the reason for his slow 40 time.  The hell you say?  A 4.44 40 isn’t slow?  Well it’s kind of not slow, but for a world-beater prospect that only weighs 196 pounds, it’s slow.  But again, if you tell me that he’s not all the way back but he’s making progress, then I would be fine forgetting about the 40 and to a degree forgetting about the 2012 season.  It’s not that Hunter was bad, it’s that I heard people talking about him as if he could be Randy Moss before he got injured.  Randy Moss is reported to have run a 4.25 40 at his Combine and I’m not sure how much he weighed then, but he played most of his career at over 210 pounds.  Given that Hunter averaged Randy Moss-type yards per reception numbers as a freshman and sophomore, I think it’s logical to assume that he used to be faster.

In any case I wanted to look at some comps for Hunter so I did my usual drill and then eliminated all of the non-SEC names.  From an analysis standpoint, that’s probably a little problematic given that a lot of the scoring that Hunter did this year was against non-SEC competition (6 of Hunter’s 9 touchdowns came against Troy and Georgia State).  But let me assure you that the comps would have looked worse if I hadn’t removed non-SEC names, so that move is me trying to be a little more optimistic on Hunter.  Of the names on the list, Sidney Rice is really the one that sticks out as having had a very good season.  Reggie Brown was a relatively high draft pick but never did anything.

I think this is really an instance where we might not have the most relevant information to consider Hunter’s prospects.  The most relevant information might be knowing how much additional progress can he make coming back from his knee injury.  Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of visibility into that issue.

*msYDS and msTDs are essentially offense adjusted numbers.

Justin Hunter-Tennessee 2012 196.00 4.44 0.75 12.00 0.29 0.26 90.25 0.75 14.84
Reggie Brown-Georgia 2004 196.00 4.45 0.36 12.00 0.29 0.25 71.67 0.50 16.23 2.92
Sidney Rice-South Carolina 2006 200.00 4.51 0.74 13.00 0.34 0.43 83.85 0.77 15.14 0.46
Keenan Burton-Kentucky 2007 201.00 4.44 0.85 11.00 0.23 0.25 67.82 0.82 12.03

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