Discussion

Big Board has top WR rising

Tennessee's Justin Hunter is the week's biggest mover among NFL prospects

Originally Published: September 12, 2012
By Mel Kiper | ESPN Insider

You have to be a pretty special talent to be where Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter finds himself. Now up to No. 5 on my Big Board, Hunter is in that position despite two years where he really hasn't had the opportunity to show what he's capable of. Hunter was limited to only 33 total catches over his first two years in Knoxville because of injuries, but off to a great start in 2012, he's once again giving us all a glimpse of what he's capable of. While there's plenty left to see, with health certainly a considerable question going forward, Hunter is a gamebreaker when right, and with strong-armed Tyler Bray throwing the ball, his combination of size, speed and pass-catching talent can be on full display.

Also back on the board is an SEC talent who could cross paths with Hunter. Johnthan Banks is another big, rangy defensive back capable of defending receivers of great size that dot college and NFL rosters. Regarding comments you'll see week to week: The scouting perspective remains similar week to week for people catching up, but I'll note matchup highlights. If there's a player you don't see here, but want feedback on, I find some time to respond on Twitter. Hit me @MelKiperESPN. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.


1
Matt Barkley
AGE: 21
DOB: 9/8/90
HT: 6-2
WT: 224
POS: QB
Comp 46
Att 68
Pct 67.6
Yds 559
TD 10
Int 1

Will be tested a little more against Stanford. Working with great talent, Barkley is piling up totals, but that's a two-way street. Won't wow evaluators with physical skills, but sound across the board: ball-placement, timing, use of his eyes, poise, leadership skills and a ton of experience. Has improved every year.

LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD

2
Jarvis Jones *
AGE: 22
DOB: 10/13/89
HT: 6-3
WT: 241
POS: OLB
Tkl 17
Sack 3.5
Int 1

Simply dominated Missouri, showing off the full range. An explosive, relentless edge rusher, he profiles as a 3-4 OLB. Jones has a quick first step and violent hands, tackles well and closes fast. Improved against the run, and he can really cover, which many don't know.

LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD

3
Barkevious Mingo *
AGE: 21
DOB: 10/4/90
HT: 6-5
WT: 242
POS: DE
Tkl 8
Sack 0
Int 0

Mingo uses exceptional length and a lightning first step to turn the corner. Pass-rush skills are there, but could diversify. Still learning concepts after late start in football, but reads game well given lack of experience.

LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD

4
Sam Montgomery *
AGE: 21
DOB: 5/25/90
HT: 6-4
WT: 260
POS: DE
Tkl 4
Sack 1.0
Int 0

Montgomery has added some size and could be considered a fit in almost any system; and his frame can handle it if he adds more. Athleticism and pass-rush skills are there, and he really holds up against the run. Max-effort player, natural athlete, instinctive rusher. Still a lot of projection left.

LAST WEEK: 4 | PLAYER CARD

5
Justin Hunter *
AGE: 21
DOB: 5/20/91
HT: 6-4
WT: 205
POS: WR
Rec 17
Yds 219
Avg 8.1
TD 2

Overshadowed by his teammate against N.C. State, but Hunter is dangerous. Stats haven't done him justice. Most of 2011 was wiped out by injury. Blazing speed, but uses good technique and gets in and out of breaks. Good hands, a major threat down the field.

LAST WEEK: 9 | PLAYER CARD

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