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Justin Hunter showed the type of impact he could have for the Tennessee Titans in Week 12 of last season, when he caught six passes for 109 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown, against the Oakland Raiders. The second-round pick’s massive upside flashed through once again two weeks later, when he had four catches for 114 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown, against the Denver Broncos
The other 14 games of Hunter’s rookie season were a different story. Despite appearing in all but two contests last season, Hunter had combined totals of just eight catches, 131 yards and two touchdowns in his other 12 appearances.
The two bright spots in Hunter’s season are more likely a sign of things to come than a fluke. A 6’4”, 203-pound wideout with exceptional athleticism for his size, the University of Tennessee product has the physical tools to be an excellent outside receiver in the NFL.
Inconsistency in his play and effort, however, has been a serious problem for him thus far. Just last week, Titans coaches changed the nameplate on Hunter’s practice jersey to "JAG"—or Just Another Guy—to express their disappointment with the second-year player’s performance, according to Terry McCormick of 247Sports.
Hunter responded well in the Titans’ most recent preseason game Friday against the New Orleans Saints. He had four receptions, including touchdowns of 64 and four yards, for a total of 111 receiving yards.
It remains unclear whether Hunter can turn his moments of brilliance into weekly excellence, but it is evident how dangerous he can be when he is at his best.
He’s currently listed as the No. 3 receiver on Tennessee’s depth chart. It’s unlikely he’ll replace Kendall Wright or Nate Washington in the starting lineup this preseason, but he should see a significant increase in playing time if he continues to make plays.