Photo of Margus Hunt
Drafted By: Bengals
  • Round 2
  • Pick 21
  • Overall 53

Combine Results

Grade
75.4 ?
  • 4.60 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 38 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 34.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 121.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.07 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.51 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"I think what he brings to the table is positional versatility, and I love the fact the Bengals are taking him. He can play inside. He can play outside." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'8" Height
  • 33 3/4" Arm Length
  • 277LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands

Overview

Estonia has not been a fertile scouting ground for the NFL in the past, but teams might consider going abroad more consistently if they can find talents like Hunt. His name first appeared on the international athletic scene after he won gold medals in both the shot put and discus events at the 2006 World Junior Track and Field Championships in Beijing. Hunt, who also won the 2005 European Junior discus title, was the first junior ever to pull off that double.


Hunt arrived at SMU in 2007, working with track and field coach Dave Wollman with the hopes they would revive the previously cut men’s program. That didn’t come through, so he decided to turn his attention to the football field. He made his name on special teams in his first year with the Mustangs, blocking seven kicks (one short of the NCAA record). Hunt had eight tackles in 13 games, including a sack against Nevada in the team’s Hawaii Bowl victory. He started all 13 games as a sophomore, registering 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, and three blocked kicks. And though he started just two of the 13 games in which he played in 2011, his three-sack effort in the BBVA Compass Bowl win over Pittsburgh made scouts take notice. He also blocked four more kicks, giving him 14 in his career -– including an NCAA career record nine field goals.

Following his breakout bowl performance, Hunt earned the number one spot in Bruce Feldman’s Annual “Freak List,” noting Hunt’s incredible combination of size, length, and speed. He took over a starting role at defensive end for SMU his senior year. His knack for blocking kicks continued, ending his career with 17 total, two short of the NCAA record. He accumulated 31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and one interception on his way to earning first team All-Conference USA honors. He has displayed impressive progression through his career and figures to be heavily coveted by 3-4 teams to play defensive end.

Analysis

Strengths

Tall, thick but athletic lineman with loads of potential. Much quicker than you’d expect off the snap given his size, and his long first step helps him pressure the outside shoulder of tackles when outside and win the gap at three-technique. Shows the ability to anchor from both the 3-tech and 5-tech spots. Has the speed to run the arm and beat tackles off the edge. Fast and strong hands stun his man, extends his arms to keep leverage. Uses his length very well to keep blockers off his body. Plays contain well on the edge, pops off his block and swallows backs with his strong upper body. Long strides eat a lot of grass when closing to the quarterback. Good closing speed. Will chase plays downfield. Height and length allow him to affect quarterbacks’ vision when unable to reach him; they also make him an ideal interior player on the field goal block team. Flashes the ability to come off the ball hard and low in short-yardage situations despite his height. Good natural strength – can anchor and shed even when he loses the leverage battle. Varies the tempo of his pass rush well once the offensive line overplays his speed rush.

Weaknesses

Must be cognizant to play with bend due to his height, pops up off the snap and will stand upright during the play if tired, losing leverage. Agile for his size, but is still a linear athlete with questionable change of direction and flexibility. More mobile quarterbacks and quick running backs will elude him in the backfield. Turning the corner on his initial pass rush is a chore due to his bulk. Still learning the game, must find the ball consistently. Older than most prospects (will be 25). Doesn't bring his body when he tackles and subsequently misses a lot. Ineffective bull rush due to not playing with leverage and lacks counters when his initial move fails.

NFL Comparison

Calais Campbell

Bottom Line

Hunt initially moved to the United States from his native Estonia to further his amateur track career (he won gold medals in the shot put and discus at the 2006 World Junior Championships). Now the 25 year-old uses his elite size/athleticism combination to make an impact on defense (three sacks in the BVAA Compass Bowl against Pittsburgh to finish off 2011, a sack and two forced fumbles against Fresno in the Hawaii Bowl) and special teams (17 blocked kicks in four years). Fulfilling his potential as a starting NFL five-technique defensive end as a senior could land him in the top half of the first round in April.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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