Getting To Know Our Rookies: Hunter Long


Miami Dolphins pick Boston College tight end Hunter Long 81st overall at  NFL Draft | WPEC
No. 84 – Miami Dolphins
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born:August 19, 1998 (age 22)
Exeter, New Hampshire
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:253 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school:Exeter High School (Exeter, NH)
Deerfield Academy (Deerfield, Massachusetts)
College:Boston College
NFL Draft:2021 / Round: 3 / Pick: 81
Career history
Miami Dolphins (2021–present)
Roster status:Unsigned draft pick

NFL Profile

Player Bio

Long matriculated to Chestnut Hill from Deerfield Academy in New Hampshire, where he was a second-team all-state selection as a tight end and defensive end. Long averaged 25.8 yards on four catches in his redshirt freshman season (103 total yards) and scored two touchdowns. He was a third-team all-conference pick in 2019 after leading the team with 509 yards on 28 receptions (18.2 per), scoring twice in 13 games (three starts). The second-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-ACC selection in 2020 decided to leave for the NFL after racking up 57 receptions for 685 yards (12.0 per) and five scores in 11 starts for the Eagles. — by Chad Reuter

Overview

Pass-catching tight end with decent speed and plus ball skills but a concerning lack of consistent aggression in his play. Long is much too passive and unskilled as a run blocker at this point of his development to consistently help against NFL competition. He also needs to get better at controlling his catch space with body control and physicality. However, when the ball is in the air, he plays with a plus level of tracking and focus to make tougher catches look easy, including throws that are down near his feet. He doesn’t look like a burner, but he does have success running the seam and working over routes, so play speed should not be an issue. He’s unlikely to ever be much of a blocker, so he must learn to become more competitive and feisty in fighting for his space and the football.

Strengths

  • Picks up his play speed as route progresses.
  • Able to attack the seam and potentially all three levels.
  • Uses hand fighting to clear handsy coverage at top of the route.
  • Made first downs on 60 percent of his catches in 2020.
  • Gains some separation out of his turns.
  • Scrambles open for his quarterback.
  • Hands are soft and natural for the routine catch.
  • Hyper-focuses when the ball is headed his way.
  • Able to bring in throws well outside his frame with sticky hands.
  • Could be an issue to cover for some linebackers.

Weaknesses

  • Play strength and aggressiveness end up in minus column.
  • Allows press to beat and ride him early on.
  • Will race through routes rather than selling his breaks at times.
  • Needs to be more competitive in claiming his catch space.
  • Inconsistent finishing contested catches.
  • Not tough enough to handle heavy lifting as blocker.
  • Blocks with folded arms like a player from the old electric football game.
  • Let the running game down in matchup against Clemson.

TDS Take:

This is a prime case of how Miami’s GM Chris Grier drafts as TE was not a huge need. With that being said you can never have enough talent at any position and with current TE’s Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe both drafted together in 2018 and both looking for contract extensions having a young safety blanket just in case one or both TE’s move on is a good thing.

The TE room for Miami is stocked with Mike Gesicki (25 years old), Durham Smythe (25 years old) and Adam Shaheen (26 years old) there is a lot of competition for Hunter to go against to help him improve his game and hopefully accelerate his maturation.

Welcome to Miami!

Hunter Long

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