Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt (99) in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Is Margus Hunt Ready to Contribute?

The Cincinnati Bengals used a second round draft pick in 2013 on defensive end Margus Hunt, a 6’8″ monster of a human who wreaked havoc at Southern Methodist University, despite having no football experience prior to attending the school. Hunt chose SMU to join the track team there, but wound up playing football, and doing it well enough that NFL teams saw him as a potentially dominating player. The Bengals pulled the trigger and he started on the road to a career in football.

Hunt’s rookie season wasn’t what he probably envisioned. He didn’t play a lot, recording just half a sack in the ten games he saw action in. His inexperience was evident in his lack of  a diverse set of moves, and issues with technique. He was behind Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, and Wallace Gilberry on the depth chart, as well as Robert Geathers before his injury. With Johnson now gone, Hunt may get a chance to show he’s growing as a player.

Ideally, Dunlap would start at one end spot, and Hunt would be ready to take over at the other, leaving Gilberry and Geathers to rotate from the bench. Hunt has worked hard, and knows he still has a ways to go, but he remains confident that he can contribute more. Even if he doesn’t claim the starting job, he’ll likely see more action than last season.

Hunt is athletically gifted, and physically imposing. His talent is obvious, but his willingness to learn will be the key to his season. He seems more than willing to be molded by the coaching staff, and there’s every reason to be excited about his contributions going forward. He has his sights set on a starting job, and if his work ethic is any indication, he’ll do so sooner, not later.

Tags: Cincinnati Bengals Margus Hunt

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