The Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent Hunter Sharp shortly after the 2016 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about the new Eagles wide receiver, I reached out to SB Nation's Mountain West Conference blog: Mountain West Connection. Lead writer Jeremy Mauss (@JeremyMauss) was kind enough to answer questions about Sharp.
1) What are his strengths?
"He is a receiver that is capable of making big plays for Utah State, and specifically in the deep passing game. Part of that was diminished by the multiple quarterbacks he had to play with due to injury. He has solid speed with a 4.51 40-yard dash but he is very quick off the line and that initial burst is what allows him to get open and down field quickly for big play capability. He is just 5-foot-11 but his route running is very tight and he uses his body well to create separation."
2) What are his weaknesses?
"His size at 5-foot-11 does not help him when he goes up for a job ball and he can get pushed around a bit from physical defensive backs. That can really come into play if he plays the outside receiver position where that position is more physical compared to the slot where he probably can beat a safety instead of a cornerback. He also tends to wait for a pass to come to him instead of going to a ball, and that is shown on deeper throws, and by doing that he opens him self up for defensive backs to come in and knock a ball down or intercept it."
3) Are you surprised he went undrafted?
"I am surprised he went undrafted. My opinion was that he would go somewhere in the fifth round. Part of the reason he likely went undrafted was because of his film where he was inconsistent, but that comes back to him seeing four quarterbacks throwing him the ball in his final two years at Utah State. When he was with a consistent quarterback who was a true thrower -- which he had with Darrell Garretson who transferred heading into the 2016 season -- he was one of the best in the Mountain West. The other quarterbacks where Chuckie Keeton but he was not himself after he tore his knee twice and Kent Myers was a true freshman and a sophomore with a handful of starts and the passing game was limited."
4) Is there any idea what Sharp did to get suspended for two games? Are character concerns about him legitimate or overblown?
"The true reason is not know outside of the vague violation of team rules, but there is no real concern over any character issues that would make him a headache of a player. However , with him being an undrafted free agent he can not afford any slip up with team rules."
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out? Do you have an NFL comp for him?
"I think he will find a spot in the NFL because he has the ability to return punts and kicks and as you know having a player who can fill multiple roles makes him more valuable to the limited 53-man roster. Also, he has the talent to be third or fourth wide receiver even without returning kicks, but playing special teams gives him a bump over another wide receiver when all things being equal. I think a fair comparison is Julian Edelman because the two play the same position and return kicks. Yes, their size is basically identical but they are slot receivers with good hands, and one difference is that Sharp is a better downfield receiver."
Thanks again to Jeremy. Go check out Mountain West Connection.