INDIANAPOLIS – By second-round pick standards, it's been an underwhelming beginning to the NFL career of Margus Hunt.
In four seasons, Hunt has yet to start a game in 44 career contests.
The 6-8, 295-pound Hunt was a developmental project when the Bengals chose him with the 53rd overall pick back in 2013.
It's now time for the Colts to take their turn at molding Hunt into an imposing figure carrying such a unique frame.
The Colts signed Hunt earlier this week and will plug him in at defensive end in their 3-4 scheme.
Hunt making the switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 system is something that has him excited in his second NFL home.
"I was just looking for a good fit for what I can bring to the table – a more defined fit as far as playing on the defensive line goes," Hunt said after joining the Colts earlier this week.
"It's just the way the system is. D-line help is always needed so it was just a good fit, with the scheme that they run, how they routinely play in it and what to do. It's just really simple and straightforward for me. That was a big key."
With the Bengals, Hunt played on a talented defensive line and believes that was a reason he did not have a bigger role in Cincinnati.
"It was hard to kind of get a foot in the door," Hunt says of his time with the Bengals.
"They were kind of set in the way with the defensive line they had going on. I was competing and getting as much playing time as I could and being able to be kind of in a role where if my name was called upon I was able to do my thing and help the defense out and not have a drop off in productivity primarily."
How exactly the Colts envision using Hunt largely depends on what he can show come the preseason.
On paper, there's not an immediate need for Hunt to slide into vacant playing time.
Zach Kerr, more of an interior guy, is the only departing lineman the Colts have in 2017. Injuries to Kendall Langford/Henry Anderson, along with a suspension to Arthur Jones, contributed to Kerr being counted on as a reserve lineman last year.
Is Hunt in line to take up those vacant reps, depending on how the Colts shuffle responsibilities up front with Anderson and Langford now healthy?
That's the question Chris Ballard is trying to create at a variety of positions.
The project of Hunt is still alive in the NFL and the Colts will see if they can put together such an uncommon skillset into a productive defensive line presence.
"I feel like the past four years in Cincinnati really helped me to understand the pro game a lot more and especially last year," Hunt says. "I feel a lot more mature in understanding the game itself and what's going on.
"Now, it's just a matter of putting it on the field and working my butt off to get to a point where I can really, really contribute to the team and help this team out. I feel like it's a great opportunity at that."
The Colts Sign DE Margus Hunt!
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