Mike Zimmer believes Margus Hunt can make “big jump”

AP

The Bengals used a second-round pick on defensive end Margus Hunt last April, but they were in no rush to give him a major role right off the bat. A former discus star, Hunt played in 10 regular season games and one postseason game as a reserve for Cincinnati in 2013.

However, the 27-year-old Hunt could see more playing time in his second NFL season. With Michael Johnson departing for Tampa Bay, there are more reps to be had at defensive end.

New Vkings head coach Mike Zimmer, who was Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator a season ago, is confident Hunt will show improvement. In a story published Monday by Bengals.com, Zimmer indicated he believed the Bengals would continue to field a strong defense — and that Hunt could become more of a contributor.

“I think Margus Hunt will take a big jump,” Zimmer told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.

Hunt, Carlos Dunlap, Wallace Gilberry and Robert Geathers are currently the Bengals’ top four options at defensive end. Another end could be added via the draft, as Cincinnati is never shy about stocking up on defensive linemen. No matter how the Bengals proceed, getting more production from Hunt would be quite helpful.