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CONTENT

Post Draft Analysis
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The 33rd Team (Ireland et al.) Analysis

 

 

POST DRAFT ANALYSIS

Scott Pioli
“I don’t like him; I love him. In two years, we’ll be talking about a Pro Bowl tight end.”

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Draft Analysis
Long is a big target with good hands and a wide catching radius. He flashes as a route runner and locates pockets in zone looks. He has the speed and frame to make plays down the seam, plus he has some upside as an open-field runner after the catch. -- Steve Muench


Post-Draft Analysis
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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

Analysis

  • Draft Projection - Round 3
  • NFL Comparison - Jace Sternberger

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.

 

HUNTER LONG | Boston College | TE | #80 | rJr | 6051 | 254 | Exeter, NH | Deerfield Academy | 08.19.98 (22)

OVERVIEW:
Unknown to the masses entering 2020, Long is not a secret among NFL teams, as the tall, long tight end has flashed the speed required to stretch and work all parts of the field. Long shows the ability to break tackles in the open field, along with tremendous yard-after-catch ability due to his quickness and run power. He also shows the strength and technique to be a solid blocker at the next level. Long thrived in the 12 personnel sets under the old coaching regime and then showed his pass-catching skills as he adapted to a more spread attack in 2020 under coach Jeff Hafley. In addition to his sound blocking, his usage off play-action can be lethal due to his size/speed combination.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
"We could not be happier and more supportive of Hunter's decision to enter the NFL Draft. Hunter has been a terrific ambassador on and off the field for our program and we can't wait to watch him play on Sundays." – Boston College Head Coach Jeff Hafley on Hunter Long’s Decision to Declare Early

BACKGROUND:
Hunter Virgil Long; son of Stephen and Jean Long, has two sisters. Played for head coach Brian Barbato at Deerfield Academy; totaled 30 receptions for 508 yards and two touchdowns; rated No. 4 player in Massachusetts by Rivals.com. Recipient of The Thomas J. Condon, Jr. Scholarship; computer science major.

CAREER:

 

Hunter Long committed to Boston College in the 2017 recruiting class as a three-star prospect out of Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts over offers from schools such as UConn and UMass. Long was a two-time all-conference selection while at Deerfield and racked up 508 receiving yards on 30 receptions to go along with seven sacks as a defensive lineman.

 

HUNTER LONG - BOSTON COLLEGE #80

  • SIZE: 6ft 5ins, 253lbs
  • CLASS: Redshirt junior

THE SKINNY:
Long has a big frame to go along with some okay athleticism. An in-line TE who spends 75 per cent of his time with his hand in the ground, he can get movement in the run game, is a decent option in the short and intermediate area and he runs nice routes, especially off play-action concepts. Whilst you’d never mistake him for Kellen Winslow, he does have the ability to work vertically down the seam and defeat linebackers, coupled with some toughness to get yards after the catch. Although he was completely erased by Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah late in the 2020 season, he could develop into an Austin Hooper-type. I suspect his ceiling is as a solid number two with some versatility and ST upside.

OFF FIELD:
Has a reputation for being focused, hardworking and tough. Reportedly ran a handheld 40-yard dash in 4.59 at high school. From New Hampshire, he would be only the 25th player
from the state to play in the NFL since the league’s inception in 1920. Loves to rebuild computers in his spare time. Broke his hand as a senior in HS.

 

HUNTER LONG - TIGHT END

  • Height: 6'4 1/2"
  • Weight: 252 #
  • School: Boston College
  • Year: RS Junior

CAREER SNAPSHOT:
A three-star recruit who attracted little atten-tion early in the recruiting process, Hunter Long also had to wait for his chance to shine at Boston College.
During the past two seasons, however, he’s amassed 1,194 receiving yards and 7 touch-downs as the main receiving threat for the Ea-gles.
His performances in 2020 earned him All-American honors, a rare feat for a Boston Col-lege tight end.

POSITIVES:
Nice-sized tight end with a reliable game. Fluid and natural as a pass catcher, nicely makes the reception on crossing patterns and adjusts to grabs the errant pass in stride.
Tracks the pass in the air, displays terrific focus and concentration, and holds onto the catch after big hits. Uses his hands to separate from defenders and extends to make the reception away from his frame.
Plays with excellent balance and body control, knows where he is on the field, and uses the sidelines well. Possesses outstanding blocking vision, keeps his head on a swivel, and looks for someone to hit.
Stays square and seals defenders from the action.

NEGATIVES:
Shows limited play speed and doesn’t stretch the seam. Must improve his playing strength and finish blocks.

ANALYSIS:
Long was a consistent, reliable tight end for Boston College and has a game that translates well to the NFL. He's not flashy, nor is he a true playmaker, but he’s a natural pass catcher who holds his own as a blocker. I believe Long can develop into a starting NFL tight end, though he'll never make big plays down the field.

PFN’S BEST NFL FITS
New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills

 

THE 33RD TEAM

BUILD
Excellent build and frame, great example of what you look for in an NFL Tight End. May be maxed out in growth as a 22 year old, but still has some room on his frame to add muscle.

ATHLETICISM
Fluid athlete with good speed. Very good catch radius, showcases the ability to go down and scoop the ball from the turf as well as the ability to go up and high point a ball.

TECHNICAL
Route running is inconsistent, with some sloppy footwork at times. Has a tendency to catch with his body when he expects contact.

SUMMARY
Long is an athletic, big-bodied TE that can be worked into nearly any system in the NFL. He is good enough right now to be a starter, but he would thrive in a TE2 setting to learn from and grow under a more developed, veteran player like Dallas Goedert has done in Philidelphia. He is an impressive athlete for his size and shows high effort on blocks, making him arguably the most well-rounded tight end in the class. While I don't think he is a day 1 pick, I think he may be one of the players that teams are scrambling to trade up to the top of round 2 for.

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