It's too early to tell how much playing time rookie defensive end Danielle Hunter will get this season, but he's off to a fantastic start at training camp.
According to ESPN, Hunter is a "lot less raw" than coaches thought he would be as a 20-year-old entering the NFL.
"He is a lot less raw then we thought. He has really been impressive, honestly," head coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday. "That’s why I want to see him against some of the other competition. He is a tremendous athlete with very, very long arms. I asked one of the coaches about him the other day on what he thought and he was very, very positive about him."
Hunter's 40 time was clocked at 4.57 seconds at the NFL Combine, extremely impressive for a 6-foot-5, 252-pound man.
Hunter and Scott Crichton, a third-round pick in 2014, received reps with the first team defense this week, according to the Star Tribune's Master Tesfatsion.
According to the Pioneer Press, Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson thinks Hunter could someday be "unstoppable."
“He was just telling me I got speed and that nobody can handle it and if I could use that all the time, I’d be unstoppable,’’ Hunter said of a conversation he had with Patterson. “He believes in me and I believe in him and I’m going to give him everything I got.’’
Crichton owes part of his growth to Zimmer, who doesn't let players slide through the mental part of the game. During team meetings, Zimmer is known for catching players off guard with scheme-related questions.
"He's always picking on me in the questions. I love it," Crichton said, per 1500 ESPN. "He makes me that much smarter in the game, he has so much knowledge on defense and it's really amazing to me that he can know so much about the offense."
While the players pay attention in meetings, fans should pay attention to the defensive line, because Hunter and Crichton could get plenty of reps with the rotation defensive Zimmer likes to employ.