PROSPECT SUMMARY - HUNTER LONG
More often than not, talented tight ends are underutilized in college, but that is not the case when it comes to Boston College’s Hunter Long. In 2020, Long led all tight ends in college football with 89 targets, 22 more than the second-most targeted tight end. Long led the nation with 57 receptions and collected 685 receiving yards with five touchdowns. He was featured heavily in the Boston College offense and he delivered. Long is a sound route-runner with good hands and sufficient ball skills. He’s a versatile option that is experienced blocking and running routes from a variety of alignments within the offense. He has the size and enthusiasm to be effective as a blocker. What tempers Long’s projection at the next level is his modest athletic profile. In addition, he has room to develop more route-running technique, add functional strength, and there are some minor inconsistencies with his ball skills. Long projects as an excellent TE2 in a 12-personnel heavy offense with the ceiling of a modest TE1.
Ideal Role: Fringe TE1, solid TE2.
Scheme Fit: 12-personnel heavy.
Written by Joe Marino
Games watched: Pittsburgh (2020), North Carolina (2020), Duke (2020), Clemson (2020), Louisville (2020)
Best Game Studied: Duke (2020)
Worst Game Studied: Louisville (2020)
Hands: Long features reliable hands and he’s able to extend to catch the football in all directions while securing it outside of his frame. There are some instances where his hands aren’t properly aligned to catch the football, but it’s a minor gripe. He had five total drops in his career at Boston College on 133 targets.
Route Running: Long runs routes with good timing and understanding of how to adjust and find space to make himself available against zone coverage. He does well to angle his route stems to create opportunities to stack and provide leverage when working the seam. His route breaks can be rounded and lacking deception to set up his breaks.
Versatility: Long is a versatile player that offers value in the variety of spots he can lineup in and contribute as a blocker and receiver. He has the size needed to hold up in-line as a blocker and he’s a good blocker on the move and in pass protection. While he isn’t the most dynamic athlete, he has some appeal flexed out in the slot as a receiver.
Competitive Toughness: There’s no questioning Long’s competitive toughness. He brings the fight as a blocker and is physical after the catch. He dealt with continuous contact as a route-runner and he battled every step of the way.
Ball Skills: Long generally does well to position himself to win at the catch point, using his frame to shield defenders and win through contact. With that said, he isn’t immune to an occasional misplay of the football down the field and he can stand to make quicker adjustments. He is average when it comes to his “above the rim” game.
Blocking Skills: Long features a sturdy frame to hold up when asked to block in-line. He’s very deliberate about working his feet to stay square to blocks and getting his hands set. Long is a sufficient pass blocker that knows how to work rushers beyond the peak of the pocket.
Football IQ: Long appears to have good football intelligence and his versatility speaks to that. He has good spatial awareness and is fairly technical when it comes to blocking. He was a priority for the Boston College offense to feature.
RAC Ability: Long made some impressive plays after the catch in 2019, but as the volume of targets increased in 2020, his post-catch production dipped. While Long is physical and decisive with the ball in his hands, he isn’t the most dynamic athlete that is going to outrun defenders and break pursuit angles. He will get the available yards and fall forward.
Pass Protection: Boston College asked Long to pass block somewhat regularly and he mostly fared well. He does a good job of finding surface area on his opponent, fitting his hands, and steering them beyond the quarterback. He plays under control and balanced in pass protection while competing to stay square and keep his hands fit.
Big-Play Ability: Long averaged nearly 15 yards per reception in college, which is a bit inflated based on how much post-catch production he had in 2019. Long has the size and ball skills to work the seam and stress the middle of the field. With that said, his skill set doesn’t translate overly well to winning after the catch at the next level or being a consistent vertical threat.
Prospect Comparison: Durham Smythe (2018 NFL Draft, Dallas Cowboys)
TDN Consensus: 75.38/100
Joe Marino: 76.00/100
Kyle Crabbs: 76.50/100
Jordan Reid: 75.00/100
Drae Harris: 74.00/100
- Aug 22, 2022
- Aug 22, 2022