Danielle Hunter, a Vikings edge rusher, is off to a sluggish start in 2022.
Since breaking the record for the youngest player in NFL history to accumulate 50 sacks, Danielle Hunter has been remarkably quiet.
Hunter, who achieved that milestone at the age of 25 during the 2019 season, has had a string of setbacks, missing all of the 2020 season due to a neck injury and appearing in just seven games before his 2021 season was cut short by a torn pectoral muscle. Due to his absence, Hunter has been left out of many discussions involving the league’s top pass-rushers.
Hunter is becoming accustomed to playing outside linebacker as the Minnesota Vikings defense switches to a 3-4 base system this season.
Although they may not be noticeable to the untrained eye, the differences in what Hunter is asked to do matter, and it is demonstrated through four games.
Only one sack and seven hurries have been recorded by Hunter. Playing in a recognizable scheme, he had five sacks and sixteen hurries through four games the previous season.
In response to Hunter’s sluggish start, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said it’s “very, very normal” for a player to require some time to adjust.
Danielle Hunter of the Vikings’ slow start, according to Ed Donatell, is “very, very normal.”
Donatell appeared unconcerned about Hunter’s lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks during a press conference on October 6 ahead of the Vikings’ Week 5 game against the Chicago Bears.
According to Donatell, who has over 40 years of coaching experience, including 31 years in the NFL, “every guy that’s ever made that transition, the first month looks about like that.” “That’s fairly typical. This role requires some getting used to. extremely typical However, we’re very happy to have him, okay? Let’s be clear about that.
Hunter often lines up standing up at the line of scrimmage, which is a slight change from the way he used to line up with his hand in the ground. Donatell wants Hunter to win more often outside in open space as opposed to starting the attack from inside or even with the tackles of the opposition.
It’s not a complete adjustment, according to Donatell. It’s not a total (adjustment) because there are some similarities and samenesses between him and other people. He really stands up when we have an odd spacing and are up against low people. You might catch him falling on occasion. The most important aspect is that he is not crammed between a tight end and a tackle in that front. He is not required to do that. He’d probably be the first man to admit that he prefers playing this role on the periphery. However, it’s still very early. You won’t find anyone who works harder or who has a higher moral code or cares more about the team.
With the hardest tests behind her, Danielle Hunter ought to succeed.
The reasons for Hunter’s underwhelming performance may have more to do with his matchups than with the subtle adjustments to his defensive role.
To begin the season, Hunter had to deal with two Pro Football Focus top-10 tackles. Although Hunter should perform better even against tough competition, opposing offensive fronts have prioritized stopping Hunter, which has created opportunities for other pass-rushers.
Hunter will next face Bears right tackle Larry Borom, who in Week 17 against backup edge rushers gave up seven pressures, two sacks, a hit, and four hurries, according to PFF.
Hunter should enjoy himself for the remainder of the campaign, with a breakthrough performance planned for Sunday against Borom.
According to Matthew Coller of Purple Insider, here are the remaining right guards Hunter will encounter this season along with their PFF pass-blocking rankings:
Greg Little, ranked 61st by PFF (dead last) for Week 6 Miami
Week 8 Arizona: Kelvin Beachum – 19th by PFF
Week 9 Washington: Sam Cosmi – 32nd by PFF
Week 10 Buffalo: Spencer Brown – 49th by PFF
Week 11 Dallas: Terence Steele – 11th by PFF
Week 12 New England: Isaiah Wynn – 36th by PFF
Week 13 NY Jets: Max Mitchell – 55th by PFF
Week 14 Detroit: Penei Sewell – 23rd by PFF
Week 15 Indianapolis: Braden Smith – 27th by PFF
Week 16 NY Giants: Evan Neal – 56th by PFF
Week 17 Green Bay: Elgton Jenkins – 53rd by PFF
Week 18 Chicago: Larry Borom – 25th by PFF
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