There is always more than one theme at these events, of course, but a major one at the 2013 NFL Draft will probably be the amount of versatile, crazy-athletic defensive linemen taken in the first round.
The combine better painted the picture of how defensive line prospects will find a home and scheme in the NFL based on the skill set they bring to the table. In a group that's getting harder to stand out in because a higher level is most everyone's starting foundation, Margus Hunt from the SMU Mustangs did just that.
Hunt stands at 6'8 and weighs 277 pounds, which sets the impressive framework for his performance in the combine's various physical tests. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds and sprung for 38 inches in the vertical jump. He benched 225 pounds 38 times. ESPN's John Clayton called him a "beast," further noting that Hunt was a gold medalist at the 2006 World Junior Championships in both the discus and shot put events.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com wrote Tuesday that Hunt was "the talk of the combine," his presence seemingly stretching as far as his 82-inch wingspan. Hunt is from Estonia and said he learned some of the nuances of football from the Madden NFL video game series along with studying the likes of J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers.
As mentioned, this year's draft is stocked with defensive linemen. In his latest mock on Monday, SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn has 10 from the group going in the first round. Hunt isn't one of them. Yet, based on his performance at the combine, Hunt has at least planted his flag among the rest of the prospects. He recorded 8.0 sacks and 11.5 tackles for a loss in 2012 with the Mustangs, and while his biggest weakness may the fact that he's still rough around the edges on the field, a team will likely take him sooner than later during the draft. The only questions left could be where, and how high?
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