Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff may be nicknamed the "Comrade," but the Falcons could very well be interested in a player whose homeland was part of the old Soviet Union. According to Justin Pawlowski of 98.7 The Fan in Tampa Bay, the Falcons are just one team showing interest in Estonian defensive end Margus Hunt:
Pawlowski (@CommishOnline) April 15, 2013
Let's discover what the 6'8" Estonian could bring to the Falcons:
Southern Methodist University
Height: 6'8-1/8" Weight: 277 pounds
Arm Length: 33-3/4" Hand Measurement: 10"
40 yard dash: 4.53 sec. 10 yard split: 1.63 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.51 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.07 sec. Bench Reps: 38 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5" Broad Jump: 10'1"
2012: 13 Games Played, 31 Tackles, 11.5 Tackles for Loss, 8.0 Sacks, 11 QB Hurries, 1 Interception, 2 Fumbles Forced, 2 Pass Deflections, 3 Blocked Kicks
2011: 13 Games Played, 28 Tackles, 7.5 Tackles for Loss, 3.0 Sacks, 1 Pass Deflection, 4 Blocked Kicks
2010: 14 Games Played, 45 Tackles, 6.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.0 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Pass Deflections, 3 Blocked Kicks
2009: 13 Games Played, 8 Tackles, 2.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.5 Sacks, 1 QB Hurry, 1 Pass Deflection, 7 Blocked Kicks
Margus Hunt is great off the snap and very quick off the ball. He's got great length and good pass-rushing skills despite being raw. He's very good against the run and can take on multiple blockers. He's got great physical skills and is just a true beast when it comes to using his frame to push through opposing offensive lines. He's also excellent at penetrating on field goals for blocked kicks.
Despite being a talented player in pass rushing, he's still very raw as a player and has leverage issues due to his height. He's also 26, and the lack of football experience will hurt him early on in his career. He also has a complete and total lack of coverage abilities. If he can develop quickly, the Falcons could mask these weaknesses by using him as a 1-gap run defender and edge rusher.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Margus Hunt is squeaky clean off of the field and one of the hardest workers out there. On top of that, he was a team captain for the Mustangs. He's the kind of guy who Comrade Dimitroff has been wanting for since he got there.
Hunt is a great fit for what Atlanta needs but might end up being too costly for where they are picking. He's going to make a team very happy in the long term if he can develop. His ceiling is on a J.J. Watt level, but his floor is completely out of the league throwing a discus for the Estonian National Team trying to qualify for the Olympics.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
Hunt would likely require the Falcons first-round pick. They could potentially trade up or down for him depending on how they view his talents. But he would definitely be a long term solution as a left defensive end and 3-technique penetrator if they wanted to use him like that.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.