Continuing on with our series of pieces highlighting available players in the upcoming NFL Draft who might be over-hyped, today we take a look at a defensive end prospect from Southern Methodist University.
MARGUS HUNT, DEFENSIVE END, SMU
If the NFL Combine didn’t exist, Margus Hunt might not vulnerable to becoming a bust. Quite simply, nobody paid attention to the 6’8, 280 lbs defensive end until he blew scouts away at the combine with his freakish workout-warrior numbers.
He posted eye-popping numbers during two events at the combine: 40 yard dash and bench press. He ran the 40 in 4.6 seconds and put up 38 reps of 225 lbs on the bench.
At first glance, this numbers scream “Draft this guy!, He’s a beast!”
Ok, he is a beast. He is likely a member of a small fraction of people on the planet who have his combination if size, strength and speed. But should anyone really be surprised by that?
Hunt is a world-class shot-putter and discus thrower. He originally came to the United State from his home country of Estonia to train and compete in those events at the NCAA level. He is a fast-twitch athlete who competes in sports where you need to be freakishly strong to compete on the world stage.
There are a lot of guys who compete in field events internationally who likely would post the same kind of numbers that Hunt did at the NFL Combine. That doesn’t make them sure-fire NFL superstars.
The fact remains that despite Hunt’s freakish physical attributes, Margus Hunt registered a grand total of 16 sacks in the 47 games he played in during his four year career at Southern Methodist. Those 16 sacks came in 13 games, meaning Margus Hunt, a guy being scouted and rated as a potential elite pass-rushing defensive end, never touched the quarterback in 72 percent of the games he played in. That was while competing in Conference USA, not the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 12 or ACC.
It’s easy, given that production (or lack there of) to see how Hunt got overlooked during his college career. His simply was not a great football player. A great athlete, certainly, but the list of guys who never made it in the NFL is littered with great athletes.
Hunt’s most outstanding accomplishment on the actual football field, in my opinion, is his NCAA record of nine blocked field goals. Not surprising, again, considering he’s 6’8.
Does Margus Hunt have value on an NFL roster? Of course he does, especially given his potentially game altering kick-blocking ability. Is he worth spending a first round pick on due to his potential to be an elite pass-rusher in the National Football League? His body of work in a mid-major conference says No.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON APRIL 12, 2013