Possessing an extraordinary combination of size and explosiveness, Hunt became the first junior athlete to ever win both the shot put and discus gold medals the same year, accomplishing both feats at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Beijing. He moved to Dallas to train with SMU's world-renowned track and field coach Dave Wollman just in time to see the university drop the program. Rather than move again, Hunt elected to try football.
The game didn't initially come easy to Hunt. Despite playing in 13 games in 2009, he recorded just eight total tackles. He nearly doubled the SMU record, however, by blocking an eye-popping seven kicks in his first season, coming within one of tying the NCAA single-season record. Hunt blocked three more kicks in 2010 and saw his production jump in every other category, as well, notching 45 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in his second year of playing.
Though Hunt's stops behind the line of scrimmage would rise as a junior (7.5, including 3.0 sacks) and senior (11.5 including 8.0 sacks), Hunt's ascent hasn't been as consistent as scouts might have envisioned after his first two years. The 45 overall tackles he posted as a sophomore remain his single-season career high.
Characterized by CBS' Bruce Feldman as the biggest athletic "freak" in college football, Hunt possesses the extraordinary upside to warrant early consideration. After four years in the game, however, he remains a better athlete than football player, and ranks as one of the bigger boom-or-bust prospects of the 2013 draft.
Naturally powerful defender who can simply bull-rush his opponent deep into the pocket. Big, strong and reasonably active hands to fight through blockers' attempts at grasping a hold of him. Good hand-eye coordination and times his leaps well to aid in his kick-blocking prowess. Has emerged as a player the offense must account for on virtually every snap and yet remains a better athlete than football player, which speaks to his exciting upside.
WEAKNESSES: Highly inconsistent. Has a tendency to make a splashy play and then disappear for long periods of the game. Struggles with pad level and can get blown off the ball against the run because he loses the leverage battle.
Like a lot of taller defensive ends, Hunt is stiff in his upper body and he struggles to re-direct when attempting to break down and tackle agile ball-carriers. Can be eluded and has a tendency to lunge at ball-carriers as a result, leading to some ugly whiffs.
Doesn't get his hands into passing windows as much as he should considering his height and kick-blocking prowess. Has only seven passes defended in 53 games. Inconsistent effort in downfield pursuit.
COMPARES TO: Corey Wootton, DE, Chicago Bears -- Wootton was a productive player at Northwestern who slid on draft day due to injury concerns. Optimistic talent evaluators preached patience as Wootton had shown the length, power and surprising speed to be successful once he acclimated to the NFL and healed sufficiently. While the concern with Hunt lies with his relative inexperience and inconsistency, the team that gambles on Hunt could be similarly rewarded with a future standout.