There’s no way to pretend we didn’t see the athleticism displayed by Robert Hunt last season.
The 6-foot-6, 330-pounder caught everyone’s attention when he caught a screen pass and dived acrobatic in the end zone before diving into the end zone. Rumbled downfield on what would have been a 7-yard touchdown reception – if he had been a worthy receiver.
While the drama resulted in a penalty, the nation couldn’t stop talking – or tweeting – about the dazzling display of athleticism from the Dolphins big man, which went viral on social media.
It was the precise athleticism, fancy footwork, and cat-like agility of the 330-plus pounder that made the Dolphins a Louisiana Lafayette standout selection in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and ultimately made him a rookie starter.
Fast forward to his third season, and the new Miami coaches hope Hunt’s athleticism will allow him to thrive in the wide-zone running scheme he’s setting up, which puts a premium on athletic offensive linemen.
“I’m a very athletic guy. I don’t want to promote myself too much, but I’m very athletic,” Hunt said Wednesday at the conclusion of the fourth week of his off-season workout program for the Dolphins. “I don’t plan any Can do. I can power, out of zone, inside zone. Whatever you need me to do.”
According to Hunt, this could mean playing perfect guard, where he started 17 games last season, or making perfect tackles, where he started 11 games in 2020.
From his point of view, he is working and learning how to play both positions because nothing has been decided yet about the starting five, and where everyone fits in. Taron Armstead and Conor Williams are likely to be penciled in as free agents this off-season, the starters on the left, and Hunt, Liam Eichenberg, Austin Jackson, Solomon Kindley and Robert Jones are set to be added as free agents. We’re competing for who starts on the right side of the line.
At this point it’s anyone’s guess as to who fits in where, and who excels at this wide-zone plan, which is when moving the defensive line left and right to create a cut-back running lane for tailbacks. is focused.
But it’s clear that Hunt’s experience, athleticism, and the fact that he was the top performer on last year’s struggling Dolphins offensive line put him on solid ground for a leading role.
It is not sad that this organization believes in Hunt’s Ulta, and plans to invest in his future as he brings all the intangible things to the team.
That’s why the Dolphins targeted him in that 2020 draft, picking him 39th overall, ahead of NFL standouts like Colts tailback Jonathan Taylor, Steelers receiver Chase Claypool and Cowboys cornerback Trayvon Diggs.
Assistant general manager Marvin Allen told the Dolphins Drive Time podcast earlier this spring that Hunt was a Miami player targeted because of his personality and physical traits.
“I fell in love with the man. A man so big, and he athletic. Everyone sees it,” Allen said. “He was so impressive, and he was athletic. People got a chance to catch a glimpse of athleticism at the touchdown that wasn’t there. This reflects his athleticism and strength. He is just a great person. We can build with such people.”
Especially if he continues to improve his technique, and gets into better physical condition, which is essential from an endurance standpoint because all the running and movement Miami will be doing.
“We all know who Mike McDaniel is. We all know where he comes from, 49th. We know exactly what we’re doing there,” Hunt told San Francisco’s old school, Under McDaniel Said, referring to the run-heavy approach to football, was the team’s run-game coordinator for three seasons before spending the previous season as offensive coordinator. ,
“I’m excited about this plan and everything we’re going to do.”
“I like to run with the ball. I like that. I like to be physical. I like to play [physical] football,” said Hunt, whose unit averaged 3.5 yards per carry for Miami, which was ranked 29th in the NFL last season. “That’s it [this scheme] gives a chance to. … I’m trying to run away from the ball. I am trying to be better than I was last year and a year ago. I’m excited for it.”