After finishing near the bottom of the league in catch rate for the second consecutive year, Hunter is facing competition in the form of veteran Hakeem Nicks and rookie second-round pick Dorial Green-Beckham this offseason.
Hunter has turned in a couple of impressive minicamp practices, leading coach Ken Whisenhunt to suggest this is a make-or-break season for the third-year wideout.
“At some point, you either get it or you won’t be in this league anymore,” Whisenhunt said last week, via the Tennessean. “That’s the natural order of the NFL.”
Hunter is blessed with prototypical size, speed and leaping ability, but he has been done in by shaky quarterback play, unreliable hands and questionable toughness.
Titans quarterbacks generated a paltry passer rating of 58.8 on throws in Hunter’s direction last season, per Pro Football Focus. That low mark is reflective not just of poor passing, but also of Hunter’s inability to absorb contact and still come down with the ball at the catch point.
Hunter finally overtook Washington in the starting lineup last October, by dint of his obvious physical tools and second-round pedigree. This time around, he’s going to have to earn the job by outproducing his competition.
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