The New York Giants picked up Michael Hunter as an undrafted free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft. He ended up in injured reserve with a hamstring injury and has since made his way onto the New York Jets and Denver Broncos last season.
Name: Michael Hunter
College: Oklahoma State
The Broncos promoted Hunter to the active roster late last season to avoid losing him to another team.
An injury derailed his rookie season, but Hunter was turning heads during Giants training camp last season.
The second-year player out of Oklahoma State ran stride for stride down the left sideline with wide receiver Roger Lewis on one play and intercepted QB Geno Smith, pinning the ball one-handed to his body. It was a continuation of what Hunter has done most of the spring and summer, when he’s rarely given up plays.
“Yeah, he had a nice day [Thursday],” coach Ben McAdoo said. “He made a nice play on the ball, couple flashes on the ball from press coverage on a go route, which is tough to do and encouraging to see.”
Despite being fairly dominant during training camp, the Giants still let him go.
Hunter doesn’t have great size and will lose the battle against bigger, more physical wide receivers. His speed is what gives him the potential to play in the NFL, so if he can perfect his technique he could overcome his less than ideal size.
Hunter got some game experience early on his career and its the kind of playing time he valued last season during training camp.
“Experience in those two games last year helped me a whole bunch,” Hunter said. “It made me put in perspective how I had to get in the playbook and get comfortable out there and play fast. And make sure I know the defense inside and out. I think that is the biggest difference.”
The Broncos have starters at cornerback already, but the depth chart behind them is kind of wide open. With Aqib Talib’s departure, the franchise is no longer stacked at the position. They will need one of the younger players to step up to fill those reserve cornerback slots. Michael Hunter could be one of those young guys who steps up.