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NFL Draft 2016: D.J. Hunter meeting Bengals on Monday

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A late-round safety prospect to watch out for is Marshall's D.J. Hunter, who has a lot of talent but some off-field issues as well.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

While the start of OTAs is the main story on Monday, the Cincinnati Bengals are also doing work on the college side with the NFL draft now just over a week away.

According to Draft Recon and Chris Shanafelt of NFL Draft Bible, Marshall safety D.J. Hunter is working out with the Bengals today.

Hunter is also set to take part in the Bengals' local Pro Day workout on Tuesday, so it makes sense that he's in town meeting with the team today. It also makes sense for the Bengals to spend a little extra time with Hunter, who has a lot of talent but some off-field issues as well.

Back in high school when Hunter was a highly-touted recruit and Tennessee commitment, he was charged with felonious assault after he allegedly shot a 15-year-old boy in the face with a BB gun and it looked like his athletic career may end. Shortly after the arrest came to light, UT pulled the scholarship offer before Hunter ended up at Marshall.

It wasn't the first issue with him. In May of 2009, Hunter was charged with assaulting a former girlfriend. It's an ugly story that, combined with the prior incident, makes it look like Hunter is too risky of a prospect to spend a draft pick on. But if you just go off what he did in college, it appears that Hunter was a quality guy both on and off the field.

On the field, Hunter spent his college career at several defensive positions, including linebacker, safety and cornerback. The 5'11", 205-pounder finished 2015 with 65 tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks in 13 games at linebacker. His frame will likely see him playing strong safety in the NFL and maybe sneak in some time at linebacker on passing downs.

Given the Bengals' love for those kinds of Swiss Army Knife guys (Chris Crocker, Taylor Mays, Emmanuel Lamur), Hunter looks like a possible candidate for that kind of role in Cincinnati.

Hunter is projected to either sneak into the end of Round 6-7 or be an undrafted free agent. NFLDraftScout.com has him ranked as the 291st-best prospect. NFL.com ranks him as the 345th-best prospect.

Here's an excerpt of Hunter's scouting report by Lance Zierlein:

STRENGTHS: Highly explosive athlete. Has instant "twitch­-and­-go" lateral quickness combined with a straight-­line burst to race down running backs to the edge. Lives in the box and rarely stays blocked using spin moves and hand technique to free himself. Passionate player with a high-­end motor. Disruptive quickness as blitzer and gap-­shooter against the run. Pro day results were off the charts.

WEAKNESSES: Labeled as a strong safety but is really a linebacker. Much too small, at this point, to be a linebacker in NFL. Has very limited coverage experience relative to what will be asked of him in NFL as a safety. Has no interceptions and just three passes defensed during career. Lunges as tackler and needs to bring feet with him. Highly recruited out of high school but had scholarship offer pulled by Tennessee. Has a long list legal issues to work through.

Depending on how Hunter's workout and meeting with the Bengals goes, he may be someone to watch for toward the end of the draft.