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Danielle Hunter tabbed as “breakout player” for 2018

But hasn’t he already broken out?

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With great money comes great expectations, and earlier this week the Minnesota Vikings gave defensive end Danielle Hunter some pretty great money. . .like $40 million guaranteed and as much as $72 million on a new five-year contract extension.

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network apparently thinks that Hunter was well worth the money, as he’s tabbed Hunter as his #2 “breakout player” for the 2018 NFL season. (If you want to see the video and his commentary, you’re going to have to hit the link, thanks to not being able to embed it here.)

Schrager cites the fact that, because of the talent that the Vikings have along their defensive front (Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, and Sheldon Richardson specifically), that Hunter is rarely going to see double teams and will have the ability to terrorize opposing offenses while only having to beat one guy. The other team can’t double team everyone, so the Vikings’ defensive line should have the ability to make a play on almost every snap.

The one thing I do sort of wonder, though, is whether or not Hunter has already “broken out.” After all, he did lead the team in sacks in 2016, and he certainly wasn’t an under the radar player in 2017. His sack numbers did drop off a little bit in 2017, but he was still disruptive on defense, and the Vikings pretty clearly understand what he means to the future of this defense and this team.

Do you think Danielle Hunter is going to be a “breakout player” in 2018?