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Thread: Wide Receivers: Keenan Allen versus Justin Hunter

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    Wide Receivers: Keenan Allen versus Justin Hunter

    I know it's very early in the process, but as of now the Dolphins look to have a serious need at wide receiver. That could all change if one of the young players such as Roberto Wallace step up in a big way. Bringing in Chad Ochocinco could limit the development of some younger receivers and seems like a bit of a red flag that maybe we just don't have that young talent at the position. Why else would the front office bring in a stopgap when developing players has to be the theme for this year?

    When all is said and done, I think Keenan Allen and Justin Hunter could battle it out to be the first wideout taken in the 2013 draft. Here's my brief scouting report on each.

    Allen's best trait is his ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands and elude tacklers. He's much like a running back in the open field, has nice hands making several impressive one-handed grabs and good size. I'd say his speed falls in the 4.45 range. He goes up well to get the ball. Overall, he seems to have everything you look for in the position. I think he may end up being closer to 6-2 than 6-3, but I guess we'll see on that.

    Hunter's best trait is his ability to win the battle in the air. He goes up for the ball much like Chris Chambers and takes balls away from corners. I've seen him win in double coverage with the ball in the air. Unlike Chambers, Hunter has good hands. I think his speed is similar to Allen's and, while he is more physical than Allen, he is not nearly as elusive.

    Personally, I like them both and I guess my question now is which one do you all think would be a better fit for our offense? The bigger question, do you think Jeff Ireland would pull the trigger on a first round receiver?
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    The thing that is going to grab you about Justin Hunter right away is that lengthy frame, athleticism, jumping ability and body control that really reminds you of Randy Moss.

    But a couple of things worry me about him. The first is his frame and how healthy he can stay on that frame. His frame is much slimmer in my opinion than Randy Moss' was, more like Todd Pinkston. He's already dealt with injury issues and has to prove he can stay healthy. Also, how fast is he, exactly? We're not talking about A.J. Green here, so with the kind of player Hunter is, he needs to be pretty fast. Randy Moss had 4.3 speed. Does Hunter really possess that, or is it closer to 4.48? If it's not ELECTRIC speed, then the negatives with his slim frame really stand out all the more, IMO. Should it be concerning that when he was running full speed for his touchdown against Montana, the Grizzlies safety Mike McCord was actively gaining on him? I don't know McCord's speed but if they've got a 4.3 speed safety then count me surprised.

    You know, right now, as things stand, I have to consider Da'Rick Rogers a better WR prospect on the football field. He's quicker, thicker, has more RAC ability, I don't question his frame or his health. The thing I question about him is persistent rumors of him being a total prick. ESPN ranked Justin Hunter one position spot ahead of Da'Rick Rogers coming out of High School but Rivals rated Da'Rick a 5-Star guy, #2 at his position in the country, while Hunter was a 4-Star #8 at his position guy. So it's not like Hunter has always been the most-watched guy in the country for quite a while. Not that recruiting is a fantastic indicator of NFL success, of course. I just see what they saw, which is a thicker, stronger and more versatile player in Rogers (for now) versus a thin guy in Hunter that has this immense potential but needs to make good on it.

    Keenan Allen is quick as a bug but I don't know that he's as controlled. It's going to be something that is interesting to see, how he continues his development. Right now I really like Marquess Wilson of Washington State. To me has a great blend of explosiveness, agility, control, ball skills, and frame.
    Last edited by ckparrothead; 07-17-2012 at 02:33 PM.
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    How would you have rated Rogers who was just drafted compared to these guys. CK
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    The main thing that sticks out right now that I disagree with is the notion that Justin Hunter is more physical than Keenan Allen. There's not a more physical receiver in the country than Keenan Allen. He plays like a runningback after the catch. He's also fearless making catches in traffic.... he'll extend his arms to catch the ball with his hands knowing the hit is coming. He was committed to Bama up until the last second, and decided to go play with his brother (Maynard) at Cal. Speaking of Zach Maynard.... the way Keenan Allen is able to consistenly produce the way he has with an abomination at quarterback throwing to him impresses me the most. He's the top underclassman WR in the country in my opinion.

    Justin Hunter I like better than Da'Rick Rogers. Other than attitude and character issues, Rogers drops some easy passes and his hands can be a little inconsistent. You won't see that out of Hunter. Right now Hunter just needs to prove he's completely healthy and back from the knee injury.

    The best underclassman receiver that flies under everyone's radar to me is Stedman Bailey. I have him as the #3 underclassman WR on my board right now behind Allen and Robert Woods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by phintim View Post
    How would you have rated Rogers who was just drafted compared to these guys. CK
    Da'Rick Rogers is an incomplete prospect, he was only a sophomore last year. I don't know that it's fair to compare him with the guys that were available in the 2012 Draft. I have nits about Rogers. He does drop easy ones every now and then, as Slimm says. A couple versus Florida come to mind, ones that had him right on the hands and he just flubbed. He's inconsistent getting off the jam and sometimes I wonder if he loses focus during the games in that regard, or maybe isn't in as good condition as he should be. I don't really know how fast he is. The potential I see in him is because of his size and strength put together with his compact frame and quick, short stepping, choppy feet after the catch.

    Justin Hunter definitely has superior hands to Da'Rick Rogers at the moment. But I have to agree that "physical" is not a word I would attach to him, which I think I alluded to alread. He's slim, weak, and I wonder just how much of the love he's getting is because of track and field prowess, whereas he had 16 catches as a frosh and then had big games against titans such as Montana and Cincinnati before hurting his knee after one play against Florida. I'm not trying to hate too much but we're talking about sophomores (Hunter and Rogers) that need a lot of further development.

    Even Marquess Wilson, you watch him play against Oregon and you'd think he shouldn't bother trying for the NFL. He had so much trouble with the low ball in that game and there were times he definitely lost focus. Yet, he has some potential in him because he moves very quickly, covers ground, has some of the most demonstrative double moves and routes among all the receiver prospects, and I like how disciplined he is with his hands, only putting them up at the last possible moment, which keeps the defensive back from being tipped off to look for the ball. He's also very quick off the line and it helps with press coverage. The body control, balance and kinesthetic sense are there to be deadly both with the ball in the air and with the ball in hand. But he too is not physically strong, which bugs me, and is an area I'd like to see him improve on. He reminds me so much of a young Chad Johnson it's eerie. Some may not agree but that's what I see.

    So if you're asking me about these incomplete young pups versus some of the guys that were drafted this year and had grown up a bit more...even a guy like Stephen Hill who was as raw as they come from a route tree perspective...I think it's a loaded question. We'll just have to wait a year and see because many of these guys will probably stay in school.
    Last edited by ckparrothead; 07-17-2012 at 05:27 PM.
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    Wilson should have a big year in Coach Leach's offense. He's going to find a way to make sure his quarterbacks and #1 receiver is productive.

    I watched Washington St.'s spring game back in April and Leach spotted the defense a 28-0 lead to start the game. The score ended up 28-27. Tuel hit Wilson for a beautiful 84 yard TD pass on 3rd and 16 down the left sideline on the 3rd play from scrimmage. However, coach wasn't happy with Wilson's practice habits and had to get on him a little bit during the spring.

    Talented young receiver though. He'll need to tweak his stance and improve a few other things once he gets to the NFL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckparrothead View Post
    The thing that is going to grab you about Justin Hunter right away is that lengthy frame, athleticism, jumping ability and body control that really reminds you of Randy Moss.

    But a couple of things worry me about him. The first is his frame and how healthy he can stay on that frame. His frame is much slimmer in my opinion than Randy Moss' was, more like Todd Pinkston. He's already dealt with injury issues and has to prove he can stay healthy. Also, how fast is he, exactly? We're not talking about A.J. Green here, so with the kind of player Hunter is, he needs to be pretty fast. Randy Moss had 4.3 speed. Does Hunter really possess that, or is it closer to 4.48? If it's not ELECTRIC speed, then the negatives with his slim frame really stand out all the more, IMO. Should it be concerning that when he was running full speed for his touchdown against Montana, the Grizzlies safety Mike McCord was actively gaining on him? I don't know McCord's speed but if they've got a 4.3 speed safety then count me surprised.

    You know, right now, as things stand, I have to consider Da'Rick Rogers a better WR prospect on the football field. He's quicker, thicker, has more RAC ability, I don't question his frame or his health. The thing I question about him is persistent rumors of him being a total prick. ESPN ranked Justin Hunter one position spot ahead of Da'Rick Rogers coming out of High School but Rivals rated Da'Rick a 5-Star guy, #2 at his position in the country, while Hunter was a 4-Star #8 at his position guy. So it's not like Hunter has always been the most-watched guy in the country for quite a while. Not that recruiting is a fantastic indicator of NFL success, of course. I just see what they saw, which is a thicker, stronger and more versatile player in Rogers (for now) versus a thin guy in Hunter that has this immense potential but needs to make good on it.

    Keenan Allen is quick as a bug but I don't know that he's as controlled. It's going to be something that is interesting to see, how he continues his development. Right now I really like Marquess Wilson of Washington State. To me has a great blend of explosiveness, agility, control, ball skills, and frame.
    Hey CK. I like the Moss comparison when it comes to attacking the ball. That's what really grabs my eye when watching Hunter. You just can't teach those kind of skills. I also don't think he's a burner in the 4.3 range, but probably more like 4.45 based on tape anyway. My question, and I realize it's early, but say Miami is picking #8 again. Would you rather trade up for Allen or would you feel comfortable with Hunter at #8.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedSlimmJr View Post
    The main thing that sticks out right now that I disagree with is the notion that Justin Hunter is more physical than Keenan Allen. There's not a more physical receiver in the country than Keenan Allen. He plays like a runningback after the catch. He's also fearless making catches in traffic.... he'll extend his arms to catch the ball with his hands knowing the hit is coming. He was committed to Bama up until the last second, and decided to go play with his brother (Maynard) at Cal. Speaking of Zach Maynard.... the way Keenan Allen is able to consistenly produce the way he has with an abomination at quarterback throwing to him impresses me the most. He's the top underclassman WR in the country in my opinion.

    Justin Hunter I like better than Da'Rick Rogers. Other than attitude and character issues, Rogers drops some easy passes and his hands can be a little inconsistent. You won't see that out of Hunter. Right now Hunter just needs to prove he's completely healthy and back from the knee injury.

    The best underclassman receiver that flies under everyone's radar to me is Stedman Bailey. I have him as the #3 underclassman WR on my board right now behind Allen and Robert Woods.
    I really like the way Allen goes up for the ball and his fearlessness. Also agree he has to adjust quite a bit to some bad passes. I like him an awful lot, but I do feel Hunter is close and when the balls in the air you get the feeling it belongs to him. Love that aspect of his game. Will have to watch some of the others that you've highlighted to get a feel for their games.
    Last edited by SF Dolphin Fan; 07-17-2012 at 11:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedSlimmJr View Post
    Wilson should have a big year in Coach Leach's offense. He's going to find a way to make sure his quarterbacks and #1 receiver is productive.

    I watched Washington St.'s spring game back in April and Leach spotted the defense a 28-0 lead to start the game. The score ended up 28-27. Tuel hit Wilson for a beautiful 84 yard TD pass on 3rd and 16 down the left sideline on the 3rd play from scrimmage. However, coach wasn't happy with Wilson's practice habits and had to get on him a little bit during the spring.

    Talented young receiver though. He'll need to tweak his stance and improve a few other things once he gets to the NFL.
    Yeah that stance is funky. I don't know what to make of it. It seems to me something institutional at Washington State as I see most of the receivers starting out in that stance. It looks like a stance you can get a quick start from as long as you can avoid popping upright off the snap. In fact I know I've heard Michael Irvin rant before that he wishes more receivers would start their stance more compact like that because it gives jamming corners a smaller target while simultaneously allowing receivers to explode physically into the jammer in order to get off the press better.

    But I'm not a coach and I can't sit here and tell you why that compact stance isn't viable, etc. Seeing as how you happen to be exactly that, can you expound on it a little bit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SF Dolphin Fan View Post
    Hey CK. I like the Moss comparison when it comes to attacking the ball. That's what really grabs my eye when watching Hunter. You just can't teach those kind of skills. I also don't think he's a burner in the 4.3 range, but probably more like 4.45 based on tape anyway. My question, and I realize it's early, but say Miami is picking #8 again. Would you rather trade up for Allen or would you feel comfortable with Hunter at #8.
    As you say it's insanely early for this. The Draft is all about saying no to this player and yes to this player. That's why I always get uncomfortable with "would you be comfortable with so-and-so at such-and-such pick number". I try very hard not to let my brain work that way and fall into the trap of value thinking. I work in equities research and valuation so trust me when I say the valuation thinking is easy for me to fall into. But to me, the method has to match the nature of the asset, and value thinking under-appreciates the volatile nature of draft assets. Short story short, I kind of need to see who I'm saying "no" to in order to tell you if I'd say "yes" to one of the two players you're asking about.

    Anyway, that was a rant, it and didn't really answer your question. I waffle on Keenan Allen. Sometimes I get mad at his lack of focus and concentration during games. But then I have to remind myself just how young he is. You don't get 6'3" and 205+ lbs guys built like him with his leg strength, agility, balance, and the fearlessness that TedSlimmJr likes to refer to, all that often. I don't know how purely fast he is and I don't like his lapses in concentration but the sky is the limit and right now I have he and Marquess Wilson at the top...not Justin Hunter, not quite yet. We'll just have to wait on Hunter until I'm convinced he's more than track and field star with tremendous ball skills.

    If Justin Hunter has about 4.48 type speed, I don't know who to compare him to in the NFL. It's not Randy Moss. But as of right now it's not A.J. Green and it's certainly not Larry Fitzgerald. Perhaps a thinner Sidney Rice. I know that my favorite comparison for Marquess Wilson is Chad Johnson, like I said kind of eerie similarities in those two at times. Keenan Allen...I keep wanting to reach for like a faster Anquan Boldin.
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