Hunter Bryant: 'Know What I Need to Do to Get to All-Pro Level'
Jacob Eason continues to draw NFL draft scrutiny for his inconsistent quarterback play while offensive tackle Trey Adams no doubt is trying restore his reputation and show he's not damaged goods.
Yet with the draft less than a month away, tight end Hunter Bryant might be the Washington Huskies football player with the least amount to prove to the talent scouts. He had a productive NFL Combine and people took notice.
That's not to say Bryant will be drafted any higher than Eason -- he's still projected as a second- to a fourth-round pick -- but the NFL scouts seem to be confident that they know what they're getting with him.
That would be a receiver with big hands, above-average strength and speed for the position, and the ability to make the tough catch.
Bryant told anyone who would listen at the NFL Combine that he is determined to develop both as a receiver and blocker at the next level.
"I definitely want to be a mixture of both," he said to reporters in Indianapolis. "I think that is where I'm taking my game, especially with what I do on the receiving side -- I think I'm pretty good at that. And then my blocking side is getting a lot better, and I know what I need to do to get it to like an All-Pro level."
Patspulpit.com noted that the New England Patriots never adequately replaced Rob Gronkowski after the All-Pro tight end retired in his prime following the 2018 season. The site concluded that the Huskies' Bryant might be the best draft option available.
"The Washington product might just be the most natural pass catcher at his position this year," site analyst Bernd Buchmasser wrote.
An analyst for colts.com described Bryant as the ideal tight-end pickup for the Indianapolis franchise, which relies heavily on that position. In 2018, tight end Eric Ebron caught 14 touchdown passes for Colts but has since agreed to a free-agent deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers, creating a big opening.
"His ability to be moved around the formation, line up in different spots and be used in motion could create mismatches," analyst Jake Arthur wrote. "Then with the ball in his hands, he can do a lot of the things that Ebron was able to do for the Colts."
An analyst for draftnetwork.com called Bryant "a dynamic receiving threat" and projects him to show early production in his NFL career and enjoy "long-term starter status in the pros."
Fantasypros.com astutely pointed out that the 6-foot-2, 248-pound Bryant appeared heavier for the combine, possibly robbing himself of speed in favor of offering a better tight-end blocking physique for the scouts.
"If he does that, he has the potential to be a steal for an NFL team and for fantasy football," the site concluded.