Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
(percentile rank among all TEs at Combine since 1999, courtesy of Mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.74 seconds (59th percentile)
Vertical: 32.5 inches (43rd)
Broad: 115 inches (54th)
3-cone: 7.08 seconds (66th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.46 seconds (30th)
Bryant finished a dominating high school career as a 4-star recruit, with offers from Auburn, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. He rated a consensus top-5 TE nationally after racking up 104 receptions, 2,116 yards and 27 TDs over his final 2 seasons. The Washington native then opted to stay in his home state for college.
Bryant made an immediate impact with the Huskies, appearing in 9 games as a true freshman. Despite missing the season’s final 4 contests with a partial left ACL tear -- and returning for just a cameo in the Fiesta Bowl -- Bryant ranked 3rd on the team in receptions. Among others, he topped current NFLers Will Dissly and Drew Sample.
Bryant aggravated the left knee injury the following spring, however, and required June surgery for a meniscus tear. That cost him the first 9 games of his sophomore campaign and limited Bryant to just 8th on the 2018 squad in receptions.
Finally healthy for 2019, the TE led Washington in receiving yards and ranked 2nd on the team in catches. Bryant sat out only the bowl game in a year that found him earning 2nd-team AP All-America honors and a finalist nod for the John Mackey Award (nation’s top TE).
(Courtesy of WhatsOnDraftNFL)
Games watched: Ohio State 2018, Arizona 2019, Utah 2019, Washington State 2019, Oregon 2019
As you might expect from his smallish frame for the position, Bryant is a big receiver. I saw a fair amount of blocking reps in my sample of games … and they revealed a player lacking strength in that area.
On the receiving side, Bryant endured some concentration drops in his lone full season of action.
Don’t worry too much about that aspect, though. Bryant has also proved we can count on him in the hands department.
I didn’t see a lot of winning on shorter routes in the games I watched, but that was likely more lack of opportunity than any deficiency. Bryant profiles as though he should be just fine in routes, and I haven’t read of significant concerns for him in this area.
Where I did see him win was in working downfield …
… and stacking up yardage after the catch.
They’re similarly sized: both 6’2 and south of 250 pounds. Bryant ran just 0.02 of a second slower than Reed at their respective Combines, while weighing in 12 pounds heavier. Bryant’s weigh-in surprised some folks (heavier than expected), while his testing numbers proved a little disappointing.
Bryant beat Reed in college production, including 16.4 yards per catch career vs. just 12.0 for the former Florida Gator. (Though, to be fair, Reed converted from QB to TE after arriving at UF.)
Washington selected Reed in Round 3 back in 2013, and he then feasted on target volume (6.9 per game) while averaging just 10.2 yards per reception.
It’s not hard to envision Bryant becoming a more efficient receiver than Reed in the right system, though he’ll need similar help in target volume to become a strong fantasy factor.
Where Bryant might struggle to deliver is in the end zone. Despite leading the Huskies in receiving yards and ranking 2nd in receptions, he accounted for just 12.5% of the team’s scoring catches. That market share ranked just 13th among the 20 TEs invited to the Combine. His market share of receiving yards, however, ranked 2nd in the class (26.1%). That would have also ranked 3rd in last year’s much stronger TE class, just ahead of T.J. Hockenson.
Bryant falls short of being an exciting fantasy prospect. But there’s upside to him as a 4th-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts if lands favorably in the NFL Draft.