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Mike Zimmer on Margus Hunt: Football-Wise, He's About 12 Years Old

The Bengals selected Margus Hunt in the second round, largely to help develop due to his very limited experience playing football.


One of the few notes being made about the six-foot-forever defensive end Margus Hunt, selected in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft, was during one-on-one drills when Dayton Daily News beat writer Jay Morrison noted that seventh-round rookie Reid Fragel was holding his own against "The Eastern Block."

Despite some needlessly promoting Hunt as an immediate participant for Cincinnati's defense, like most rookies in the NFL, Hunt has a long way to go to figure as a significant contributor.

"Football-wise, he’s about 12," Zimmer said (via "But he’s an exceptionally hard worker. I don’t want us to sound like he’s just learning the game, because he’s a good prospect. But he’s just learning more and more about it. He plays really hard. We were watching tape today, and I said to Jay (Gruden, offensive coordinator), when he cleared a couple offensive linemen, his acceleration to the quarterback was as good as I’ve seen from anybody. So he has a lot of things he does really, really well."

"When you watch him on tape, it’s not all the time you see it, but there are enough flashes that you see where you go, ‘Wow, this guy can really run, he can accelerate, he’s got strength’ -- all the things that you’re looking for," defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said. "That’s why this is a good situation for us and for him -- we can teach him how we want it done, and he’s going to learn a new defense a little bit. Defensive line is defensive line, but it’s a little different techniques, and I think we can use his ability in our system a little bit better."

Even if his contributions are limited on defense early, Hunt still figures as a special teams contributor after blocking 17 kicks, second in NCAA history.