ESPN Likes Former Vols WR Justin Hunter’s Chances With Steelers

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Justin Hunter
ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Justin Hunter /

Former Tennessee Vols wide receiver Justin Hunter is hoping to finally make an impact in the NFL in 2017 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When Justin Hunter left the Tennessee Vols a year early to enter the NFL Draft in 2013, most analysts thought he had the potential to be a number one wide receiver for a franchise.

The Tennessee Titans seemed to agree, and selected Hunter in the second round.

Unfortunately for Hunter, and the Titans, the number one wide receiver potential never developed. The Titans cut ties with Hunter after three lackluster seasons.

The former Vol then spent time in the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, failing to make an impact with either team.

But Hunter, who just turned 26, might finally be in a situation where he can break out in a big way.

That’s because Hunter, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers this off-season, finally has a quarterback who can get him the ball. It’s a lot different when you’re catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger, as opposed to Jake Locker.

ESPN recently noted that Hunter seems to be working well with Roethlisberger:

"Roethlisberger and Hunter connected on a slick back-shoulder play in individual work, with Roethlisberger explaining the play to Hunter in detail beforehand. In “seven shots” — offense vs. defense at the goal line — Hunter got loose on a crossing route for an easy score. If Martavis Bryant takes a while to return, perhaps Hunter can fill the role as a long and fast deep threat."

They make  good point about Hunter’s potential role in the offense. Hunter is a player that can stretch the field. He’s not a go across the middle and get first downs type of guy. Hunter is a player that can fill the role of a Mike Wallace (someone who thrived in Pittsburgh).

Martavis Bryant is currently “that guy” for Pittsburgh, but he hasn’t been able to consistently stay on the field for the Steelers, thanks to his off the field issues.

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Hunter has mostly disappointed during his first four years in the NFL, but that could easily change as he gets a new chance in Pittsburgh.