A Look At 2018 Draft Prospect Ryan Hunter As A Potential Late Round Selection For The Detroit Lions.
One of the Detroit Lions biggest remaining areas of need is the interior offensive line. The Lions could find a solid depth player on day three, with starting caliber upside by selecting Ryan Hunter from Bowling Green. While he spent his time in college playing left tackle, he is a little undersized and too short of arms to play much at tackle in the NFL. But the time spent at there in college gives Hunter the versatility to move over to tackle in a pinch.
What Does Hunter Have To Offer?
Strength is Hunter’s biggest asset. He is violent and did a great job finishing blocks. Can get wild with hand usage though. Will try to grab and pull at shoulder pads, which will not work consistently at the NFL level. Has shown ability to play up to competition as some of his best tape comes against Michigan State. His hips are very loose, which combined with fundamentally sound footwork, has led Hunter to really excel as a pass blocker.
On this play, Hunter shows both his solid footwork and hip flexibility to regain leverage when the defender counters with a rip and dip. It is okay to lose the initial battle if you can re-establish positioning quickly enough. Hunter has shown the athletic and fundamental ability to do so.
Hunter also has some really good quickness and ability to seal off blocks when he was asked to pull. This is the part of his game that I think could really make the difference between him being a starting lineman in the NFL or a reserve player. He moves really well in space, however his ability to take good angles to the second level has been quite inconsistent. His size puts him on the inside of the line, where you really need to be able to be counted on to make your pull block in the running game. If a coaching staff is able to work with him in this area, it could really bring up his run blocking game and could bring him up to starter status.
Is Hunter A Good Fit For Detroit?
Under general manager Bob Quinn, the Lions have gotten bigger along of the offensive line. While Hunter is a bit undersized to play tackle, he would be one of the larger guards in this year’s draft class. He would bring a level of toughness and strength the Lions have been missing on the interior of their line. His pass blocking ability fits into the mold of the rest of the offensive line, all being more pass blocking oriented in play-style.
Due to coming from a small school and switching positions, it is likely Hunter will not hear his name called until after round three concludes. His hand usage is likely too unrefined to be selected earlier at this point. He also will likely get hit with some false starts earlier in his career, as he often moves just a hair before the ball is snapped. But ultimately, he has the athletic profile and demeanor you would want out of a day three lineman. If the Lions have yet to address their need at offensive line, Hunter could help fill that hole.
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