—Good size and length with above-average play strength to be an NFL Y-TE.
—Shows good body control and understanding of routes at the TE position. Able to tight turn on routes and also quickly get up the field after making the catch.
—Solid overall athlete at the TE position. Adequate in foot quickness and balance.
—Above-average overall hands. Comfortable catching the ball and doesn’t fight it. Flashes the ability to come down with contested catches.
—Plays high at the snap which limits his blocking ability. Inconsistent blocking at the point of attack. Will duck his head and miss the initial part of the block.
—Has drops with throws at his body (long arms).
—Can be a bit robotic on his routes, seemingly counting his steps to get to the proper depth. Combined with playing high can leave him exposed to more aggressive defenders in coverage.
11 G, 57 rec., 685 yards, 12.0 avg., 5 TD
—2020 Second-Team All-American
—2020 First-Team All-ACC
Hunter Long brings good size to the TE position and tested as a good athlete, but his play speed is a tad slower and less explosive than his testing scores would indicate. Long consistently does a nice job of finding spots vs. zone coverage and has good length that he utilizes in contested catch situations over the middle of the field.
He can be a little robotic with his movements, seemingly counting his steps as he works down the field and will need to keep improving his comfort level and polish as he is asked to run more extended routes, but he shows good body control and understanding of route concepts and is able to maintain tight courses on his breaks and stay friendly to the QB.
Long can have drops come up with throws right at his body when he doesn’t know how to adjust his long arms, but overall flashes natural hands and doesn’t fight the ball. Long’s above-average play strength and long arms are a benefit while blocking, but he will need to keep improving his technique and bend, as he can get caught playing high at the snap of the ball and letting defenders get arms into his chest.
Overall, Long looks to be a functional TE with enough size and athleticism to contribute on special teams, and is ideally a no. 2 TE that can play both Y and F depending on a team’s current TE situation. He will need to improve his play speed and technique to ascend to more.
GRADE: 7.3/10 (Round 4)
OVERALL RANK: 119/300
POSITION RANK: TE5
PRO COMPARISON: Jesse James
Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice