Grade: 6.2 HM (Grading Scale)
Athletic specimen, standing 6’8″ and nearly 280 pounds. Has the frame to add plenty more weight without losing athleticism. Long arms and and incredible wingspan of over 82″. Good speed to size ratio, moves well in a straight line and can close quickly when locked in. Hunt is a tremendous natural athlete and was considered an Olympic contender in the discus. Displays agility in that he is able to move his frame the way he can.
Has good natural strength and power, but doesn’t convert it to football strength. Doesn’t change direction or bend easily as he is stiff in the midsection and struggles to play low. Long powerful strides allow him to accelerate quickly off the ball and in the open field.
Hunt possesses a ton of pass rush potential but, is very inconsistent displaying it from game to game. Shows good burst off the snap, his long legs/stride allow him to cover a lot of space and get to QB quickly. Hunt can close quickly when the QB is in his sights, good top end speed with burst to finish. Wins with his initial two steps, beating the OL to the spot. Extends his arms into the chest plate and makes it very tough for the OL to get hand leverage. When he plays low he exhibits a powerful punch and can bull rush to push the pocket. Can move inside to a 3-Tech or 5-Tech and is effective in beating OL to the gap to get to the QB. When he doesn’t get to the QB Hunt can still disrupt passing lanes and lines of sight by getting his hands up. Has batted down a number of passes and blocked kicks.
Hunt’s biggest weakness is his pad level. He allows his pads to rise up and narrows out throughout his lower half. Allows his feet to get close together, losing the the lower body power he has. Creates a big target for opposing linemen to get their hands on and doesn’t display overwhelming power to get off the blocks. Really struggled to get off blocks at certain points, including at the Senior Bowl many times due to him stopping his feet. Doesn’t bend naturally when turning the corner, more deliberate in his change of direction. Raw and undeveloped pass rush moves, has relied mainly on his athleticism, size and length to rush the passer to this point. Flashes tremendous pass rush potential, but is a project in every sense of the word.
Vs. The Run
Hunt has many of the same problems vs. the run as he does pass rushing. Comes off the ball well, but allows pad level to quickly rise and can’t get off the block. Lacks awareness to read where the run is going and loses leverage to the play side too easily. As a 5-Tech he can use his long arms to get extended and control the OT, to read and react to the play. When playing on the edge, Hunt plays disciplined and keeps outside contain before coming down the line at a good angle.
Can chase and run down the ball carrier from the backside. Uses his long arms and length to corral RB as they are coming through the hole. Is susceptible to cut blocks and doesn’t react to them quickly, ending up on the ground. With his quickness Hunt will be good at slanting and twisting to create one on one mismatches in the run game. Hunt has the ability to anchor and hold his ground, but once his pads rise he is handled easily. His lack of awareness combined with his inconsistent pad level make him a project vs. the run, but does offer positional versatility.
Uses his hands to his advantage, especially when getting extension. Can use his length to disrupt the passing lanes and bat down passes. Lacks pad level and loses leverage easily. When he gets too high his base narrows and he becomes blockable. Lacks a go to pass rush move and can’t counter if he is blocked initially. Technique overall is still very raw.
One of the most interesting players in this year’s draft. An Estonian Native and an Olympic Caliber shot put and discus thrower. Is brand new to the game of football, as he only began playing after enrolling at SMU to train for track and field. Has become a classical piano player after taking lessons. Hard-worker who has developed extremely quickly after never playing the game before. Quiet kid, who keeps to himself and has no off the field red flags. Speaks pretty good English, came off as quiet and shy in Senior Bowl interviews.
Hunt is the classic high “upside” pick. He has a frame that is rare for defensive plays and is really a tremendous natural athlete. Hunt hasn’t been able to convert all that athleticism and agility to the football field yet. He flashes explosive pass rush potential off the edge as he can cover a lot of ground and close on the QB quickly. But, everything he does he does in spurts. Hunt will look dominate one game and disappear the next.
Offers position versatility as he can play 5-technique and 3-Tech in rush situations. In the NFL he will likely be used as a sub-package rusher initially as he is a liability in the run game vs. smaller more physical OL. Hunt has a fascinating background and has a possibly Olympic throwing career to fall back on. Based on Hunt’s upside and what he has shown on film at times, I would be willing to bet a team takes a chance on him in the third round of April’s draft.