Margus Hunt Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for SMU DE

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Margus Hunt Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for SMU DE
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Margus Hunt

Cincinnati Bengals

Second Round: 53rd Pick

A native of Estonia, Margus Hunt’s athletic background came in track and field, participating in the discus and shotput. An imposing physical specimen, Hunt discovered football at SMU, and his imposing size and athleticism garnered him a spot on Bruce Feldman’s annual “Freaks List”coming into his senior season.

Overall Strengths

+ Incredible length and athleticism

+ Closing speed

+ Ability to anchor


Overall Weaknesses

- Leverage and flexibility issues due to height

- Linear movement

- Older than most prospects


Draft Projection

Late first/early second round

Tools ( + )



Arm Length

40 Time


277 pounds



Hunt’s background as a physical specimen is well-known to those who follow college football. An Olympic caliber track and field performer in the discus and shotput, Hunt put up the top performance in the bench press (38) as well as the third best 40 time (4.60 seconds) amongst defensive linemen.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Hunt performing the shotput

His 7.07 second short-shuttle time was good for eighth, but his 7.07 three-cone time did not crack the top 15.


Hunt came to SMU from Estonia in order to participate in their track and field program. The SMU track program never materialized, so Hunt tried out for football and has been playing for just three years. He has no character concerns of note.


Hunt was primarily a two-gap defensive end in SMU’s 3-4 defense. In order to take advantage of his explosiveness, SMU would give him one-gap looks from both defensive tackle and out on the edge at end.

Pass Rush ( - )

Hunt is incredibly explosive for a 3-4 defensive end. He displays both an impressive first step to beat his man off the ball with quickness and the closing burst to bring quarterbacks down once he has an opening.

Matt Miller Breaks Down Margus Hunt

While he does have speed around the edge, he is a very linear, stiff and upright player who could struggle as a true turn-the-corner defensive end unless given a very wide alignment. There are questions as to whether he can re-direct or bend when he gets run upfield by more athletic tackles.

His height and pad level also prevent him from being a true speed-to-power rusher, as he struggles getting under offensive linemen and rolling his hips through contact to effectivelybullrush.

His greatest asset as a rusher will likely come when he can get inside of offensive tackles who over-set against his speed.  

Against the Run ( - )

Although his pad level can allow offensive linemen to get underneath him and root him out, Hunt uses his length and upper body strength very well. He’ll occasionally lose ground against strong double teams, but he generally has very strong anchor skills.

If he can transfer his energy and get it moving forward off the snap instead of popping straight up, he has the potential to be an immovable object on the edge.

Hunt loses some ground off the snap, but sheds and finds the ball quickly for a stop on the goal line.

Tackling ( + )

Hunt's length and strength allows him to bring runners and quarterbacks down fairly easily once he can get them in his grasp. However, his inflexiblity and upright playing style sometimes limit how much of his body he can get into tackles. 

Use of Hands ( + )

Although Hunt’s wingspan is somewhat short in relation to his 6’8” frame, he still does an excellent job of keeping offensive linemen out of his chest. While he doesn’t consistently re-set the line of scrimmage, he possesses a strong, stunning punch and disengages with ease. He also shows the makings of a nice swim move while pass rushing—a necessary addition since he plays so tall.

Future Role/Versatility

Hunt has the ideal size, length, and upper body strength to play 3-4 defensive end in either a one-gap or two-gap scheme. He has plenty of experience doing both from his time at SMU.

In terms of sub-package use, Hunt would probably be better served loosening his alignment and trying to beat tackles with speed, since his stiffness will likely limit him as either a speed-to-power leverage rusher or a true bend-the-edge type who can skim the corner.

All videos used for this scouting report were provided by

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