Sep 22, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Justin Hunter (11) against the Akron Zips during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee defeated Akron 47-26. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Draft Targets: Justin Hunter

Question: Is Justin Hunter (6-4, 196) someone the Vikings should target in the first round or would he be a good one to avoid? Obviously there is talent there or he wouldn’t be getting consideration as a first round pick. But there are plenty of concerns about Hunter too. Concerns that I don’t think you can just ignore for the sake of his talent.

The scouting reports all hit on the same issues with Hunter. He’s a long-strider who lacks the nifty footwork needed to be a great route-runner. He isn’t overly strong and has trouble getting off the line. He lets the ball get to his body instead of catching it with his hands. He doesn’t always play under control. All the sort of stuff you would expect to see with an unfinished project sort of receiver.

To me this guy screams second- or third-round pick. A team with plenty of receiver depth might take him and stash him. The Vikings, I don’t need to tell you, are not blessed with a ton of receiver depth. In fact they are woefully thin in that area. And that’s why, to me, you can’t mess around with a guy like this even with all his upside. You need a more polished receiver, someone who can start and contribute right away. Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins both arguably fall under that heading. Neither of those guys is as physically gifted as Hunter you could argue, but for the Vikings it can’t be all about the raw talent. They need help right away. So for me, Hunter is a no-go.

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