Boston College TE Hunter Long goes to Dolphins in third round

When Boston College tight end Hunter Long declared himself eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft, he was rated among the top five at the position from a deep field of applicants.

The 6-5, 253-pound redshirt junior from Exeter, N.H., was claimed by the Miami Dolphins with the 18th pick in the third round (81st overall) on Friday night.

The only tight ends taken before Long were Kyle Pitts of Florida, who became the highest selection ever at that position in the history of the NFL draft when he was taken fourth overall by the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night, and Merrimac native TE Pat Freiermuth of Penn State, who was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round with the 55th overall pick.

“His pro attributes are pretty simple, he is a pro,” said BC tight ends coach Steve Shimko. “He prepares like pro, he practices like a pro and performs on the field like a pro.

“He comes to meetings knowing the game plan inside and out. He’s relentless on the path to perfection.”

Long was the top receiving tight and in the nation with 57 catches for 685 yards and eighth with five touchdowns. Long was an All-ACC first team tight end and named second team All-American by the Associated Press.

Long’s 57 receptions in 11 games are second behind BC All-American tight end Pete Mitchell, who set the program’s single season record with 66 catches over 12 games in 1983.

In addition to being a big reliable target over the middle and in the red zone, Long developed his blocking skills in the previous two seasons. Long sealed the edge when BC employed a 12-personnel power run scheme for tailback AJ Dillon (Green Bay).

“I think Hunter is a complete tight end and he’s so smart and he will pick up and offense extremely quickly,” said BC head coach Jeff Hafley.

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