INDIANAPOLIS — Hunter Bryant endeared himself to New England Patriots fans during his media session at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Asked which quarterback he’d most like to catch passes from, the Washington tight end replied: “Probably Tom Brady.”


“Because he’s the GOAT,” Bryant said. “He’s the best that’s ever done it. He’s a great competitor. And I like how knowledgeable he is in the game. I have a lot of respect for him. … The way he’s able to dissect defense before the play starts — he knows what’s coming and who he’s going to be hot off of and all that. (I love) what type of competitor he is and how much he cares about winning.”

Bryant, who’s considered one of the top tight ends in the 2020 NFL Draft class, also has an affinity for New England’s offense, which can’t perform at full capacity without at least one dangerous tight end.

“I like the Patriots a lot,” Bryant said when asked to name an NFL offense he admires. “Like how they implement them when they had (Rob Gronkowski) and even (Aaron) Hernandez, too, and what he was doing, on the field, at least. They were an elite duo. They used them a lot, and they were both very good at what they do. And I like how they just use the players they have. The Patriots always use the players that they have, and I think that’s why they’re so elite.”

Bryant met informally with a New England scout at the combine and could be a potential Patriots draft target as they look to overhaul their underwhelming post-Gronk tight end group. He doesn’t fit the team’s usual profile — he’s on the smaller side at 6-foot-2, 248 pounds and is more of a “move” tight end who won’t bring much as a blocker — but he offers impressive receiving ability.

Bryant averaged 16.4 yards per catch during his college career and posted strong numbers in 2019, catching 52 passes for 825 yards and three touchdowns during his final season at Washington.

“I think it’s my versatility — how I can line up out wide at X or in the slot or in-line or on the wing or in the backfield as a fullback,” Bryant said. “I can do a lot of different things really well, and I think that’s kind of like the best part of my game. I’m a chess piece that the offensive coordinator can use.”

Other tight end options for the Patriots include Dayton’s Adam Trautman, Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet and Vanderbilt’s Jared Pinkney.

Brady, of course, will become an unrestricted free agent March 18 if he and the Patriots do not come to terms on a new contract before that date.

Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports Images