Chicago Bears: Hunter Bryant would fix the tight end problem

Chicago Bears (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Hunter Bryant
Chicago Bears (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

A true threat in the passing game

Hunter Bryant would instantly elevate the Bears’ passing game and provide a dynamic weapon for whoever ends up under center next year. He has so much to offer in that regard that makes him the ideal selection in the second round with one of the Bears two picks.

As you watch Bryant on film, he’s a terrific route runner who appears to run effortlessly through the defense. Because of his speed and athleticism, he is a legitimate deep threat, and he high points the ball like a wide receiver.

When we sat down with Bryant he highlighted his love for basketball as playing a key role in his development as such an athletic tight end. Bryant noted he was very close with the basketball team at UW, and would frequently play basketball with them as an outlet. That outlet, Bryant said, helped him on the football field as he was able to draw a lot of parallels between crossing up a defender, and releasing off the line of scrimmage or running his routes.

He also has very impressive hands and can catch just about anything in his vicinity — as he demonstrated in last year’s Rose Bowl game against Ohio State where he made the spectacular grab above.

Bryant was putting up a fine freshman season in 2017 before he tore his ACL in the team’s ninth game. It took him time to fully recover, and as a result, he only appeared in five games in 2018. However, he came back strong with a terrific 2019 hauling in 52 catches for 825 yards and three touchdowns.

While Bryant may be on the lighter end of the spectrum for tight ends (6-foot-2, 239 pounds), his size, in part, is what makes him such a mismatch at the position, as he can move like a wide receiver, making him a difficult cover — especially out of the slot. In other words, he is the ideal fit for the “U” tight end role that is so critical in Matt Nagy’s offense.

We caught up with Hunter to discuss his final year at Washington and his preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft.