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Day 2 of NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins selects Robert Hunt

Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt (The Associated Press)

MIAMI – The Miami Dolphins selected Robert Hunt during Day 2 of the NFL Draft on Friday night.

Lousiana-Lafayette offensive lineman is the Dolphins’ No. 39 overall pick.

ANALYSIS

WILL MANSO: The Dolphins decided to double up on the offensive line by taking versatile Louisiana-Lafayette lineman Robert Hunt.

I read a lot about Hunt being a very good prospect who could be a steal in round three. Miami clearly felt they couldn’t wait that long.

Hunt is a mauler and can play tackle and guard. He gives the Dolphins another big player to eventually protect Tua Tagovailoa.

Was it a reach? Maybe. But this could pay off in the future in helping Tua develop. It’s hard to knock Miami’s plan to build a strong o-line to protect their franchise QB.

They passed on quality safeties and running backs available to do so, but this I understand the logic.

CLAY FERRARO: The Dolphins make another smart, solid pick with offensive lineman Hunt.

While Hunt could play some tackle, he is arguably the best pure guard in this class (with Wirfs projecting as a tackle).

The Fins drafted their franchise QB with their first pick, got him some outside protection with their second pick in the first round (Austin Jackson) and now they’ve added a great interior lineman in Hunt.

Again, this may not be the “sexy” pick that some fans may have hoped for. But there’s still plenty of time to find a running back or other playmakers. Games are won in the trenches. And the Dolphins are building well.

Q&A

(Your reaction to being a Miami Dolphin?) – “Super blessed. I’m super excited. I’m blessed. This is a great opportunity. I thank (Head) Coach (Brian) Flores and his whole staff. I’m super excited to get down to Miami and get to work.”

(What do you think are the traits that you bring to the game of football that will help you excel in the NFL?) – “I think I play the game hard. I try to strain and I try to finish people. I think I just play this game very hard. I play like it’s my last time playing, so I think that’ll help me. As long as I keep that mentality, keep working on myself and getting better and trying to help the team; everything will work out well.”

(Do you have a preferred position between guard and tackle and what are the differences for you as far as technique and things along those lines?) – “Not really. I definitely can play any position that coach or the o-line coach need me to play. I’m a versatile guy. I think that will help me out a lot in this draft, so wherever coach needs me to play, that’s where I’ll stick at. I’m open to playing any position. I’m ready to play any position. Anything, anywhere that I can help the team out, I’ll definitely do it.”

(I wanted to ask – I know there’s a big-time quarterback you’re going to have to protect now here in Miami. What are your thoughts about that and how much pride do you take in just being an offensive lineman and blocking the other guy.) – “It’s great. I’m super excited to get on the field with Tua (Tagovailoa) and the all of the other guys that we already have on the team. It’s my job to protect him and that’s what I’m going to do every day – come in, I’m going to try to protect him and do my best job that I can do. Like I sai,d I’m just going to bring my mentality to the game, bring my mentality to Miami, and hopefully everything will work out. I’m super excited – I keep saying that, but I’m super excited for the opportunity that the coaching staff and everybody in Miami has given me.”

(What are your thoughts about the level of competition you’ve been playing against versus what you’ll see in the NFL? Do you think it’s a big difference or do you think the level that you play in is underrated?) – “(laughter) Definitely underrated. Definitely underrated, but it is what it is. It doesn’t matter. We can go right here in this field that I’m in front of and whoever I’m going against, we’re just going to try to play. I’m going to try to do my best – whatever I can do. It doesn’t matter the competition. I’m super excited. I’m super excited to even get this chance to even play against the really good guys, so I don’t even know. It is what it is.”

(I wanted to see your shirt. What do you have on?) – “Oh, man. (The shirt says) ‘Robert Hunt.’ My sister made this for me. (laughter) My sister made this for me.”

(Talk about how important she is in your life and why you decided to wear the shirt.) – “She’s very important in my life. Sometimes she’s been there when my mom wasn’t home – when she was working – my older sister, she would take off time and watch over all of us because she’s the oldest. She plays a very important role in my life, so I’m very thankful for her. She’s actually over there eavesdropping right now, one of them; but she’s a very important part of my life and this shirt is awesome.”

(You seem to have a lot of confidence. Do you see yourself as a guy who can come in and start right away?) – “I don’t really know. I definitely – in my opinion – definitely in my head, yes, I want to come in and start right away. But wherever coach needs me – wherever I can do it – I’m just going to go compete. That’s my job – to go and compete, so I’m just excited for the opportunity. I get to go and compete and I will let it work out the way it works out. I’m not going to think about it right now – just go and try to celebrate a little bit. I’ll let it come down the line.”

(I remember reading one scout said it seems that you enjoy destroying people. I’m wondering what is the genesis? What fuels you?) – “It’s fun. It’s fun doing that and it looks really good. So I definitely want to do that. I guess it’s just that competitive spirit in me. I picked that up and just haven’t stopped doing it. It’s just something that I like to do. It’s part of the game. You don’t get in trouble for destroying people on the football field, so why not do it?”

(To kind of follow up on that, just watching you a little bit, it seems like you’ve got that mauler style. How would you describe your mentality and what you strive to do when you get on the field?) – “That, I guess. How I came into every game was – I came into every game with a bully mentality, so I wanted to bully anybody that came in front of me, stepped in front of me and all that kind of stuff. Whoever I’m competing against, I’m going to try my hardest to do my job and help the team out. We want to run the football at Louisiana-Lafayette. That’s the mindset that we have. That’s the mindset I’ve been having for a while now.”

(Why did you get off to such a late start in football? What was it going on in your life that made you not gravitate to the sport early?) – “I started playing early, but I did a lot of moving back and forth. I did a lot of moving back and forth between my mom’s house and my dad’s house from hurricanes and all of that kind of stuff. So, I did a lot of moving. I picked up the sport, I stopped a little bit, picked it back up. I’ve been playing the game for a while. I’ve just been in and out of it. It finally really clicked (for) me a couple of years ago, that I had an opportunity to play this game at the next level. I just took that opportunity and kind of ran with it.”

(I want to ask you about Burkeville. It seems like there’s not a lot of people that live there. What was that like being in such a small area and then going onto a small school?) – “At the time (in) the area, you don’t really pay attention. I was doing my own thing in Burkeville. It was definitely small, definitely a small town, but I tried to make fun of it. I went to my friends’ house, we rode four-wheelers, we fish, we do all types of stuff and try to make fun. That’s what we do. We try to make fun in the situation that we had. I went to Lafayette-Louisiana. That was way bigger for me. I had a fun time at Lafayette, met really good coaches, had really good teammates and everything worked out well.”

(I wanted to ask you about your hair. I see you’re dreaded up on top here. What’s the inspiration for you hair style? It seems like it’s a really big part of you and who you are.) – “Nothing really. I just grew my hair out. I’ve always had hair. Sometimes I hate getting it combed, so I kind of just decided to put the dreads in and then the dreads started getting longer and I liked the look. And then I got a receding hair line, too. So that’s the reason too, to take my hair line out.”

(How’s your health? I noticed you missed a bunch of games last year. How’s everything going?) – “It’s going well. I’m 100 percent healthy right now. I’ve been doing everything I wanted to do. The Combine and everything, I didn’t participate in the Combine because I wasn’t ready at the time. After that, I’ve been 100 percent doing everything – videos, pro days, things like that. I feel good.”

(Do you think not being in the Combine may have hurt you a bit?) – “I wouldn’t say that. It is what it is. This was going to happen anyways. I’m a big believer in God. God puts you in places that he wants you to be. He definitely put me here for a reason. I’m just going to take the opportunity and go forward with it. He doesn’t make mistakes. This is a blessing to me. It doesn’t hurt me or help me. This is my opportunity. I’m super grateful for it.”

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