Washington tight end Hunter Bryant

Green Bay Packers Prospect Report: Dynamic tight end Hunter Bryant

  • 2020 NFL Draft
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Hunter Bryant
  • NFl Draft
By brupp March 4, 2020 0 Comment
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The Green Bay Packers have been searching for a dynamic playmaker at tight end since Jermichael Finley. Hunter Bryant could be the answer.

The Green Bay Packers have tried to give Aaron Rodgers a weapon at the tight end position. Former general manager Ted Thompson signed Jared Cook to a one-year deal, and Cook had a solid, if not spectacular one-year stint in Green Bay. Anytime Cook catches a pass for the New Orleans Saints; Packers fans everywhere shout nonsense. Thompson let Cook and signed Martellus Bennett, a move many viewed as an upgrade. That move backfired, as Bennett played a whole seven games for the Packers before quitting on the team.

Those two moves were orchestrated by Thompson, who is no longer in the captain’s chair. Brian Gutekunst tried to remedy the situation by signing veteran Jimmy Graham to a three-year deal during the 2018 offseason. Graham hasn’t been great his first two seasons, catching 93 passes for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. Graham is likely going to be a cap casualty this offseason, as the Packers continue to search for an answer at the tight end position.

That answer could already be on the roster in the form of Jace Sternberger. Gutekunst drafted Sternberger in the third round during the 2019 NFL Draft. Sternberger spent the majority of his rookie season on injured reserve. He showed a glimpse of his potential during Green Bay’s blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers when he caught a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers didn’t draft Sternberger with the 75th overall pick in the 2019 draft to not give him a shot to be the long-term starter at tight end. However, the Packers would be wise to add another tight end in the draft to pair with Sternberger.

A player that Gutekunst could target on day two of the draft is Hunter Bryant. The tight end out of Washington could become an Aaron Hernandez type playmaker for Rodgers and company.

What Bryant would bring to Green Bay

This past season Bryant was named first-team All Pac-12 after catching 52 passes for 825 yards and three touchdowns. Bryant finished his three-year career at Washington with 85 receptions for 1,394 yards and five touchdowns. Not precisely eye-popping production, but one has to take into account the fact that he missed time during his first two seasons with knee injuries. The medical feedback Bryant received at the combine will be significant, but the fact that he remained healthy this past season bodes well for his stock.

Bryant checks in at 6’2″ and moves like a wide receiver. He’s going to be a chess piece for any offensive coordinator that gets their hands on him.  He’s got the quickness to threaten the seam with suddenness in his route running, strong hands to make contested catches, and yards after the catch capability. Bryant is not a traditional inline tight end. One big knock on Bryant is his blocking ability. No, he’s not a mauler like T.J. Hockenson. However, he’s far from a sieve.

One pro comparison for Hunter Bryant would be Aaron Herandez. Same height, nearly identical weight, and same arm length. Watching Bryant run routes and move after the catch gave this writer Aaron Hernandez vibes.  Bryant can work in the middle of the field giving Rodgers a dynamic playmaker. Gutekunst and his staff will be on the hunt for playmakers this offseason. Don’t be surprised if Bryant is a player that they’ll target on day two of the draft.

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