Did you know that there are people out there that actually believe there are better defensive ends in the National Football League than Danielle Hunter? Man, talk about one of the dumbest things you could possibly hear.
Yes, we’re shifting to the defensive side of the ball for our Over/Under series on the 2020 Minnesota Vikings, and this time we’re taking a look at their young star defensive end.
This season, Hunter enters the year as the unquestioned leader of the Vikings’ defensive line. There’s no more Linval Joseph and, at least as of now, no more Everson Griffen, so #99 is the alpha dog up front for the purple. Last year, he became the youngest player in NFL history to reach the 50 sack plateau, but with a couple of noticeable names now absent, will he be able to continue his ascent?
I know that sacks are the be-all and end-all for defensive linemen in the NFL, but they’re one of the few stats that we can quantify for them, and few do it better than Hunter, so let’s take a stab at his totals for this year.
Quarterback sacks: Over/under 13
In his five seasons with the Vikings, Hunter has reached double digits in sacks three times. He has registered 14.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons, and also collected 12.5 in his second year in the NFL, a feat that he achieved while starting zero games that season. We know that Hunter can get to the quarterback, as he was among the league leaders in pressures as well as sacks.
But, again, I point to the two notable absences on the defensive line for the Vikings. I know that we all have high hopes for Ifeadi Odenigbo after the way he came on last season in a part-time role, but is he going to be able to do enough to take some of the heat away from Hunter as the (presumed) starter at the other defensive end spot? Or will teams constantly be able to roll their protections towards Hunter’s side and limit his sack totals in 2020?
What do you think, folks?
Danielle Hunter, 2020: Over/Under 13 quarterback sacks?
This poll is closed