The Miami Dolphins selected Boston College tight end Hunter Long at No. 81 overall in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday night. Long was the third tight end off the board after Kyle Pitts and Pat Freiermuth.
The Exeter, N.H. native went largely under-recruited out of high school, as BC was his only Power Five offer. After the graduation of Tommy Sweeney in 2019, Long began to emerge as the Eagles’ top tight end. During the 2020 season, Long led the nation in receptions by a tight end with 57 catches. He added 685 yards and five touchdowns through the air during his redshirt junior season.
Long is the highest-drafted BC tight end in school history, passing Tim Sherwin, who went No. 94 overall in 1981. He is also the first BC player to be drafted by Miami since Pete Mitchell in 1995.
In the final game of the 2020 season against Virginia, Long recorded a career-high 109 receiving yards. He finished his BC career with 89 receptions for 1,297 yards and nine touchdowns.
“The Miami Dolphins just made one of the best selections in the 2021 NFL Draft,” BC head coach Jeff Hafley said in a release from BC Athletics. “We are so excited for Hunter as he starts the next chapter of his football career in the NFL.”
Long has experience in both run-heavy and pass-heavy offensive schemes under two different head coaches in his time at BC. First, Long developed his run-blocking ability under Steve Addazio’s run-first offense, and under Hafley, he became an integral part of the Eagles’ pass-heavy offensive production.
“I’ve kind of always prided my game on being a well-rounded tight end, a three-down tight end that can do everything,” Long said after BC’s Pro Day. “I feel comfortable anywhere on the field, and I feel like I showed that versatility this past year in our offense. So I feel like I’m bringing a lot of skills to the NFL and will be able to mesh with a lot of different offenses.”
While in Miami, Long will play under former BC linebacker and current Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Long and Flores previously connected at the Senior Bowl back in January and again when Flores attended BC’s Pro Day.
“It was clear from the first time I saw Hunter at practice, he was going to play a big part in our success and he thrived in Coach Cignetti’s pro-style offense,” Hafley said in the release. “We can’t wait to watch Hunter play on Sundays this fall.”
Featured Image by Nell Redmond via ACC Media