When people speak about Danielle Hunter, including us here on this blog, the first word to describe the defensive end is typically “raw”.
He was a two-year starter at LSU, starting 23 of the 38 games he played in. When you watched how Hunter played, it’s clear there’s still plenty he has to learn and it’s not necessarily his fault. Hunter was just doing what the LSU coaching staff told him to do. Plus, he was very young in college.
While it’s extremely difficult to gauge how players in the trenches look during OTAs and minicamp without pads, you can observe technique. Hands and feet are two vital elements along the defensive line, and Hunter appears to be on the right track in those areas so far.
“He has outstanding skills and it’s just how fast he can progress from there,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “I’ve seen him progress throughout these 13 days we’ve had, and he still a very young guy. He was a junior coming out, but I like a lot of things he does and he’s a great kid.”
It helps when your arms measured at 34 ¼ inches at the NFL Combine. Hunter, listed at 6-5 and 252 pounds, is hard to miss when lined up on the defensive line. It’s a unit that had interior depth with the emergence of defensive tackles Sharrif Floyd, Shamar Stephen and Tom Johnson over the course of last season. Now, the Vikings hope to bring depth at defensive end as well with the addition of Hunter.
“We always like size, especially up font, in the front seven,” defensive coordinator George Edwards said. “You don’t have to be down in the box as much with the safety, so from that aspect of it, we do like the size we have up front the length is a big thing especially with the quarterback having to throw over them versus the pass.”
We’ll find out more on how the Vikings plan to use Hunter during training camp, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll have a “redshirt” season like Scott Crichton did last year. Hunter was able to work with the team during OTAs, whereas Crichton couldn’t participate until Oregon State wrapped up its quarters.
If Hunter’s already making progress with his technique before training camp, and he retains it over the next month, it’ll help this “raw” prospect during his first NFL training camp.
The joke among those who live a vagabond lifestyle, whereby they might need to leave town at a moment’s notice, is that they shouldn’t buy any green bananas.
Forget that. Luke Ridnour shouldn’t buy any bananas. He shouldn’t buy anything at all. He should live in an airport. Green bananas? His offseason is bananas.
On Tuesday, Ridnour was traded from Oklahoma City to Toronto. This in and of itself wouldn’t be so bad … but it marked the FOURTH TIME IN LESS THAN WEEK that Ridnour was traded.
The first three trades involved last Thursday’s draft night, when he first went from Orlando to Memphis … then Memphis to Charlotte … then Charlotte to Oklahoma City.
The worst part is that Ridnour has a non-guaranteed contract, which means he is very likely to get released or … wait for it … traded again.
You’ll recall that Ridnour spent three full, luxurious seasons with the Wolves between 2010 and 2013, playing a full 82 games as a combo guard in his final season here before being moved in the three-team trade that netted the Wolves Kevin Martin.
He’s been a part of eight trades in his career, a stunning number of which involved players who spent time with the Wolves (even in trades that didn’t have anything to do with Minnesota). Here is a list of players affiliated with the Wolves who have been parts of Luke Ridnour trades:
Ray Allen (orignally drafted by Wolves, traded for Stephon Marbury), Kevin Ollie (played for Wolves in 2008-09 season), Joe Smith (obviously), Mo Williams (a Wolf as recently as last season), Kevin Martin (current Wolf), Gary Neal (played here last year), Jeff Adrien (same) and Ramon Sessions (all 82 games for Wolves in 2009-10).
And below you will find a travel log I made of the distance Ridnour would have covered if, just for fun, he had actually gone to the home cities of all the teams involved in his trades over the past week.
Starting point: Orlando.
First flight: Orlando to Memphis. Distance: 700 miles
Second flight: Memphis to Charlotte. Distance: 520 miles
Third flight: Charlotte to Oklahoma City. Distance: 940 miles
Fourth flight: Oklahoma City to Toronto. Distance: 1,110 miles
Sports Illustrated has a “Where are they now” series this week, one of those slow summer ideas that periodicals come up with from time to time (in fact, I might be doing one later this summer).
The cover man? Brett Favre. Of particular interest is his choice of attire. Per SI.com (you have to buy the magazine for the full story):
Favre, who still holds NFL records for wins as starter, completions, attempts, yards, times sacked, and most passes intercepted, donned that No. 4 Packers jersey for this week’s “Where Are They Now?” issue.
It’s first time that Favre has worn that dark green jersey since January 20, 2008, when his last pass as a member of the Packers was intercepted during an overtime loss in the NFC championship game. The day after the SI photo shoot, Favre reflected on wearing No. 4 again.
“It was so big on me,” Favre says. “It felt like a nightgown. That’s not my world anymore.”
You can see for yourself below in this tweet from SI’s Joan Niesen.
It’s “Where Are They Now?” week at @SInow. Stories on Favre, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jose Canseco, Cheryl Miller & more. pic.twitter.com/xPS2EY93X6
— Joan Niesen (@JoanNiesen) June 30, 2015