Margus Hunt

Margus Hunt

refer to caption

Margus Hunt at 2014 Bengals training camp
No. 99Cincinnati Bengals
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-07-14) July 14, 1987
Place of birth: Karksi-Nuia, Estonia
Height: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Weight: 295 lb (134 kg)
Career information
College: SMU
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 53
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-C-USA (2012)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2016
Total tackles: 21
Quarterback sacks: 1.5
Forced fumbles: 0
Player stats at

Margus Hunt (born July 14, 1987) is an Estonian-born American football defensive end for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at SMU.

Before taking up American football, Hunt competed in the discus throw and shot put, and was the former world junior record holder in discus throw.[1] At 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m), he is one of the tallest players in the NFL, hence his nickname, The Estonian Giant.

Early years


Hunt grew up in the small town Karksi-Nuia, Estonia, and took up athletics because "there wasn’t much to do". After trying decathlon he decided to concentrate on the throwing events – discus, shot and hammer throw. Hunt started training with Aleksander Tammert, an Olympic bronze medalist in discus throw from the 2004 Summer Olympics. Hunt competed in hammer throw at the 2003 World Youth Championships and discus at the 2004 World Junior Championships, placing eighth and sixth respectively.

In 2005 he won his first title at the European Junior Championships in Kaunas, throwing 62.19 metres with the 1.75 kg discus.

In 2006 at the World Junior Championships in Beijing Hunt established a new world junior record of 66.35 metres in his first throw on the qualifying round. At the final competition Hunt improved his own world junior record to 66.68 m in the fourth round and then 67.32 m in the sixth and final round. His gold medal was the first World Junior gold medal for Estonia.

Three days later he won the gold medal in the shot put by 20.53 metres in the final, beating the closest competitor by 39 centimetres. Hunt became the first athlete to win the gold medal both in shot and discus at the World Junior Championships, outperforming Rutger Smith of the Netherlands who won a gold and a bronze in 2000. His winning distance of 20.53 m was a national junior record with the 6 kg shot.

His personal best hammer throw result is 64.89 made on 28 March 2008 in Arlington, Texas.[2][3] His personal best shot put result is 17.98 made on 22 March 2008 in Waco.[4]

His personal best with the senior 2 kg discus is 61.33 meters made on 6 July 2010 in Viljandi.

College football career

Hunt left Estonia for Dallas, Texas in 2007 in order to train with Southern Methodist University track and field coach Dave Wollman,[5] and he began attending SMU part-time. However, by the time he arrived at SMU, the university had dropped its men's track program. Hunt wanted to keep working with Wollman, who had previously worked with Estonian discus thrower, 2004 Olympic bronze Aleksander Tammert, and Wollman decided that Hunt's size and athleticism could earn him an athletic scholarship playing for the SMU Mustangs football team.[5] When Hunt tried out for football, his physical power, combined with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, led Mustangs head football coach June Jones to offer him a scholarship,[5] and he began attending SMU full-time in 2009. He then played for the Mustangs for the next four seasons. On October 12, 2009, Hunt was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week.[6] On November 7 Hunt broke the school record for blocked kicks in a season when he blocked an extra-point try and a field goal against Rice. In his first 14 games at SMU he blocked eight kicks, putting him in the top 10 in blocked kicks among all NCAA players.[7] He was named the MVP of the 2012 Hawaii Bowl.

For nearly 10 years, Bruce Feldman, a writer for, has annually compiled what he calls a "Freak List" of the 10 college football players he considers the most freakish athletes. In 2012, Hunt was on top of his list. According to Feldman, Hunt "sounds like a PlayStation football creation"—despite his 82-inch (2.1 m) wingspan, he is able to bench press 225 pounds (102 kg) 35 times, and has also cleaned 384 pounds (174 kg) and snatched 345 pounds (156 kg). Hunt also boasts a 36-inch (91 cm) vertical jump. Wollman predicted that Hunt would have 45 repetitions and a 4.6-second 40-yard dash at the 2013 NFL combine.[5] Hunt did, in fact, run a 4.60-second 40-yard dash and did 38 bench press repetitions while posting a vertical leap of 34.5-inch (88 cm) at the 2013 combine.[8]

Professional football career

2013 NFL Combine

Pre-draft measurables
Ht WtHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 8 in 277 lb10 in 4.60 s 1.63 s 2.63 s 4.51 s 7.07 s 34.5 in 10 ft 1 in 38 reps
All values from NFL Combine.[9]

2013 NFL Draft

On April 26, 2013, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Hunt in the second round, 53rd pick overall, of the 2013 NFL Draft. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer compared him to Bengals defensive end/linebacker Michael Johnson at a post-draft news conference, explaining that both players were very raw coming out of college but had the potential to be great.


On October 6, 2013, Hunt made his debut in NFL, when the Bengals beat the New England Patriots 13-6.[10] He played in 10 games and was inactive the other six. He totaled four tackles, a shared sack and seven quarterback pressures as the Bengals won the AFC North.[11]


Hunt totaled seven tackles and one sack in 12 games in 2014 as the Bengals went 10-5-1 and again made the playoffs.[12][13]


Hunt was anticipated to have a breakout season.[14] He did not, and only totaled 2 tackles and no sacks in 7 games for the Bengals.


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Estonia
2003 Youth World Championships Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada 8th Hammer throw (5 kg) 64.77 PB
2004 World Junior Championships Grosseto, Italy 6th Discus Throw (1.75 kg) 58.30 m PB
2005 Junior European Championships Kaunas, Lithuania 1st Discus throw (1.75 kg) 62.19 CR, NJR
2006 Junior World Championships Beijing, China 1st Shot put (6 kg) 20.53 m WJL
1st Discus throw (1.75 kg) 67.32 m WJL
European Cup First League Group A Prague, Czech Republic 6th Hammer throw 60.21 SB
2007 European U23 Championships Debrecen, Hungary 6th Discus Throw 56.49 m
2009 European U23 Championships Kaunas, Lithuania 14th (q) Shot put 17.25 m
9th Discus 56.09 m


  1. "Margus Hunt" From, Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  2. "News, March 2008". (in Estonian). March 29, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
  3. "Margus Hunt hammer throw record" From, Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  4. "Margus Hunt Shot put record" From, Retrieved October 18, 2009.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Feldman, Bruce (May 8, 2012). "Freak List: The 10 craziest athletes in college football". College Football Insider. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  6. "Hunt Named C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week" (Press release). SMU Athletics. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  7. Hairopoulos, Kate (September 5, 2010). "Hunt blocks another FG attempt". Dallas Morning News.
  8. "SMU's Margus Hunt wows scouts at NFL Combine; Texas A&M's Damontre Moore 'really disappointed' after tough showing". Dallas Morning News. February 25, 2013. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  9. "Margus Hunt NFL Combine Results". Retrieved 06/10/15. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. "Hunt Makes NFL Debut". Retrieved October 7, 2013. External link in |work= (help)

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