UT's Justin Hunter selected by Tennessee Titans in NFL draft

Selected only minutes into 2nd round

Justin Hunter jokes as he steps off the scales at Tennessee's annual pro timing day Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, allowing National Football League scouts the opportunity to see first-hand the abilities of recent UT players. Eighteen former Volunteers were vying for spots in the April 25 NFL Draft by participating in seven events in front of representatives from nearly every NFL team.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2013

Justin Hunter jokes as he steps off the scales at Tennessee's annual pro timing day Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, allowing National Football League scouts the opportunity to see first-hand the abilities of recent UT players. Eighteen former Volunteers were vying for spots in the April 25 NFL Draft by participating in seven events in front of representatives from nearly every NFL team. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Vols wide receiver Justin Hunter didn’t have to wait long before his name was called on Friday night.

Hunter was selected by the Tennessee Titans in the second round of the NFL draft with the No. 34 overall pick. Hunter followed teammate Cordarrelle Patterson, who was selected Thursday night by the Minnesota Vikings, by only five picks.

The Titans traded up to select Hunter, much as the Vikings did for Patterson a night earlier.

UT said it was the first time the Vols have had two receivers selected in the NFL draft since 1998. Hunter is also the first UT player to be selected by the in-state pro football team since Jesse Mahelona in 1996.

Hunter, a native of Virginia Beach, Va., had a team-high 1,083 receiving yards for the Vols in 2012.

Former UT player Da’Rick Rogers, who was supposed to be part of the 2012 team before he was suspended for multiple failed drug tests, could be drafted later Friday night. Quarterback Tyler Bray and offensive lineman Dallas Thomas are also possibilities.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 37

TNVOLNTX writes:

I like it. Tremendous upside if he stays healthy.

NashvillePreds writes:

Nice

dlobh writes:

Actually Mahelona (RIP) was not the last. Albert Haynesworth went 1st round, 15th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft to the Titans.

iowavol writes:

in response to dlobh:

Actually Mahelona (RIP) was not the last. Albert Haynesworth went 1st round, 15th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft to the Titans.

Right after big John Henderson if I remember correctly. Wonder how the heck they missed that. In fact, I think we had 3 of the first some number picks that year. BTW, I was in Hawaii last year and mentioned Jesse's name and watching him at UT - you wouldn't believe the overwhelming positive reaction I got from the locals. They were proud of him.

antonio14313 writes:

in response to dlobh:

Actually Mahelona (RIP) was not the last. Albert Haynesworth went 1st round, 15th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft to the Titans.

exactly!!! Whoever wrote this is off. Go Vols!!!

t

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to dlobh:

Actually Mahelona (RIP) was not the last. Albert Haynesworth went 1st round, 15th overall in the 2002 NFL Draft to the Titans.

Mahelona wasn't drafted in 1996. The article probably meant to say 2006. He dominated the Gators in the first game I saw at Neyland in 2004.

born2ride writes:

I would rather have Patterson.

antonio14313 writes:

WR U!!! GO VOLS!!!

t

dlobh writes:

in response to MetroplexMojo:

Mahelona wasn't drafted in 1996. The article probably meant to say 2006. He dominated the Gators in the first game I saw at Neyland in 2004.

Yep, should've known that - was just going by the year in the article. Yes, Mahelona was drafted in 2006. Coincidentally, our waiter at an Italian restaurant in Seattle was from Hawaii, went to high school with Jesse on the Big Island and said he was a great dude. Mahalo!

6972 writes:

Glad for Hunter. Hope TB and MR and the others can get drafted. Glad for them and good for the Vols.

arkansasvol1975 writes:

I just don't see leaving early to go in 2nd round. Of course he is thinking money, and chance of injury, but 2nd round? This year seemed to be receiver rich, alot of good quality receivers. Of course, since Bray left, Hunter had no choice.

arkansasvol1975 writes:

Bray screwed himself and UT. I see this going bad for Bray. All the scouts are talking bad about him, the only good thing is his strong arm. Bray is quarterback "dumb" and will not make it in the NFL. Eric Ainge was a better QB than Bray and even he didn't last long. Bray should of waited another year and tried his chances then. He went from top 1st round pick at the beginning of the year, to a possible flop as we see it right now. At least if he stayed another year, he would of had a college diploma to fall back on.

yabadabadoo1026 writes:

in response to arkansasvol1975:

Bray screwed himself and UT. I see this going bad for Bray. All the scouts are talking bad about him, the only good thing is his strong arm. Bray is quarterback "dumb" and will not make it in the NFL. Eric Ainge was a better QB than Bray and even he didn't last long. Bray should of waited another year and tried his chances then. He went from top 1st round pick at the beginning of the year, to a possible flop as we see it right now. At least if he stayed another year, he would of had a college diploma to fall back on.

if you make it and stick you dont need the diploma-----a diploma doesnt guarantee anything and its not like someone cant re-enroll to get a diploma later if it dont work out

mtthw741 writes:

yes!

Vol43 writes:

in response to born2ride:

I would rather have Patterson.

But you probably need an enema.

BaldingEagle writes:

Not exactly sure, but I think I have seen draft picks from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Miss. State, Missouri, S.C., Tennessee, and Texas A&M. I know not one from Arkansas and Ole Miss has been drafted. But who is the other school that has no one drafted? Can anyone "settle" this for me? So much for the "best" of both worlds. Maybe the commodores should anchor down at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, then they might get drafted. Maybe they will schedule UA-PB so they can try and beat the big competition.

BaldingEagle writes:

in response to BaldingEagle:

Not exactly sure, but I think I have seen draft picks from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Miss. State, Missouri, S.C., Tennessee, and Texas A&M. I know not one from Arkansas and Ole Miss has been drafted. But who is the other school that has no one drafted? Can anyone "settle" this for me? So much for the "best" of both worlds. Maybe the commodores should anchor down at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, then they might get drafted. Maybe they will schedule UA-PB so they can try and beat the big competition.

Ah, Arkansas joins the club. Now only Ole Miss and the Anchors shutout in the first three rounds. Never settle!!!

givehim6 writes:

I am so happy about this, he to me was my favorite WR at UT. Was bummed when he left a year early, but now it's all cool! Now got to get a Hunter Titans jersey.

tnvol34 writes:

Good move Titans! to get Hunter, we finally drafted some home cooking! Preferred Patterson though! Now go get Bray for backup, because he does have the big arm! GO VOLS!

lstbodeanvol writes:

hey sevenT did you see all of those Kentucky players get drafted ????? oh wait that was nba last year

chipmurphy461 writes:

As a Titans and Vols fan I'm ecstatic that this pick combines my fan pride for both. As long as Hunter can keep making the tough catches and starts catching the easy one's he will REALLY help the Titans offense.

Orange_Beach writes:

in response to BaldingEagle:

Not exactly sure, but I think I have seen draft picks from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Miss. State, Missouri, S.C., Tennessee, and Texas A&M. I know not one from Arkansas and Ole Miss has been drafted. But who is the other school that has no one drafted? Can anyone "settle" this for me? So much for the "best" of both worlds. Maybe the commodores should anchor down at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, then they might get drafted. Maybe they will schedule UA-PB so they can try and beat the big competition.

If I remember correctly the Commodores took the Vols out behind the woodshed last November.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

in response to MetroplexMojo:

Mahelona wasn't drafted in 1996. The article probably meant to say 2006. He dominated the Gators in the first game I saw at Neyland in 2004.

Mahelona was 13 years old in 1996.

Journalists who cannot get the basics right are bad news...literally. That's one of the reasons that I have been no longer reading about UT here---the lack of journalistic skills.

Reporters who call head coaches by their first names in print are not able to report on anything in a non-biased way. They have been coopted, and are being used to feed readers what the coach(es) or school want to be reported.

The only question is complicity---is the reporter pimping the news willingly or being deceived. Either way, the possibility of a straight-forward, factually-based news article is minimal.

Now comes proof that even the facts cannot be kept straight.

What happened to several competent sports journalists who used to be at the Knoxville paper?

The paper trades THAT for this?

richvol writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Mahelona was 13 years old in 1996.

Journalists who cannot get the basics right are bad news...literally. That's one of the reasons that I have been no longer reading about UT here---the lack of journalistic skills.

Reporters who call head coaches by their first names in print are not able to report on anything in a non-biased way. They have been coopted, and are being used to feed readers what the coach(es) or school want to be reported.

The only question is complicity---is the reporter pimping the news willingly or being deceived. Either way, the possibility of a straight-forward, factually-based news article is minimal.

Now comes proof that even the facts cannot be kept straight.

What happened to several competent sports journalists who used to be at the Knoxville paper?

The paper trades THAT for this?

This sad state of competency has existed at the KNS ever since John Adams has been editor of the sports department.

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

When Hunter catches the 2ND Pass over the middle, I'll kiss your NFL grits. His nick name will be either Colonel Sanders or Sideline Sammy in the hard hitting pros.

Vol43 writes:

in response to born2ride:

I would rather have Patterson.

Please accept my apology there Born2. I wuz being stupid (imagine that). Patterson would probably been the best of the two.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

When Hunter catches the 2ND Pass over the middle, I'll kiss your NFL grits. His nick name will be either Colonel Sanders or Sideline Sammy in the hard hitting pros.

He's definitely afraid of blind hits, and that's why he dropped so many passes in the seam. But, no one can deny his athleticism and speed. I'm sure they'll use him in a outside big play threat capacity, not as a possession type receiver. Kind of like how Alvin Harper complimented Michael Irvin at Dallas.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to Vol43:

Please accept my apology there Born2. I wuz being stupid (imagine that). Patterson would probably been the best of the two.

Hey Vol43. If Minnesota hadn't given up the farm to SF to get Patterson, I think he might've been Titans' 1st choice. Especially since they wanted a receiver over a D-lineman or corner (which they desperately need) and having only one pick in the second round. That's just my opinion, but I think it speaks well of Justin that he was on their radar.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to arkansasvol1975:

Bray screwed himself and UT. I see this going bad for Bray. All the scouts are talking bad about him, the only good thing is his strong arm. Bray is quarterback "dumb" and will not make it in the NFL. Eric Ainge was a better QB than Bray and even he didn't last long. Bray should of waited another year and tried his chances then. He went from top 1st round pick at the beginning of the year, to a possible flop as we see it right now. At least if he stayed another year, he would of had a college diploma to fall back on.

Agree..Bray would have benefited from a coach like Jones but getting bashed by so many people while leading the SEC in passing would make anybody think twice about the college experience.He may drop to the low 5th round and I hope he makes everybody eat their words..No question he has the arm and accuracy to make a roster and IMO he throws a long ball as good as any Vol QB ever..Bray is a far better passer than Manuel,Glennon and Nassib but doesn't read the defense well and has bad leadership qualities

RashaadSalabeb writes:

I didn't see this one coming. I'm glad they got him and look forward to watching him play for the Titans. Now they need to get some defensive players. Good luck Justin! I hope everything you've dreamed of comes true for you.

Go Big Orange!

BaldingEagle writes:

in response to Orange_Beach:

If I remember correctly the Commodores took the Vols out behind the woodshed last November.

Push 'PLAY' and not 'REWIND'. Don't settle for the past. Franklin doesn't even have a winning record against Dooley, the worst coach in the history of Tennessee. Anchor down, 122 picks in the Draft in, 0 Commodores. We have William & Mary, Cornell, James Madison, and Div 2 Valdosta State. Maybe Vandy should join the South Atlantic Conference and schedule even more of their schools. You might get 10 wins in a season for the first time in history and get someone drafted, I said "might".

antonio14313 writes:

in response to volthrunthru#658770:

Mahelona was 13 years old in 1996.

Journalists who cannot get the basics right are bad news...literally. That's one of the reasons that I have been no longer reading about UT here---the lack of journalistic skills.

Reporters who call head coaches by their first names in print are not able to report on anything in a non-biased way. They have been coopted, and are being used to feed readers what the coach(es) or school want to be reported.

The only question is complicity---is the reporter pimping the news willingly or being deceived. Either way, the possibility of a straight-forward, factually-based news article is minimal.

Now comes proof that even the facts cannot be kept straight.

What happened to several competent sports journalists who used to be at the Knoxville paper?

The paper trades THAT for this?

I agree!!! Far too many mistakes!!!!!!! Something has to be done...
t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to Henley-Street-Bridge:

When Hunter catches the 2ND Pass over the middle, I'll kiss your NFL grits. His nick name will be either Colonel Sanders or Sideline Sammy in the hard hitting pros.

They can't hit hard in the pros anymore. ;) go vols.

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

He's definitely afraid of blind hits, and that's why he dropped so many passes in the seam. But, no one can deny his athleticism and speed. I'm sure they'll use him in a outside big play threat capacity, not as a possession type receiver. Kind of like how Alvin Harper complimented Michael Irvin at Dallas.

I'd imagine him stretching the field like randy moss?? go vols.

t

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to BaldingEagle:

Push 'PLAY' and not 'REWIND'. Don't settle for the past. Franklin doesn't even have a winning record against Dooley, the worst coach in the history of Tennessee. Anchor down, 122 picks in the Draft in, 0 Commodores. We have William & Mary, Cornell, James Madison, and Div 2 Valdosta State. Maybe Vandy should join the South Atlantic Conference and schedule even more of their schools. You might get 10 wins in a season for the first time in history and get someone drafted, I said "might".

+1
Franklin is still attempting to cover his tracks after his infamous "settle" tweet.
The message was about Jalen Hurd. Franklin knows it.
BTW, was at the Nashville marathon today. UT gear outnumbered vandy 20 to 1.
Anchor down my a%#

Colliervol writes:

in response to born2ride:

I would rather have Patterson.

Oh, you mean the guy that, when the Vikings called yesterday to arrange his travel, he told them to "make sure it's first class". That was on ESPN today. Tells you what you need to know. I'll take Hunter.

Colliervol writes:

Who knows. Might give me a reason to have a passing interest in the Titans.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features