Nicknamed "Hound Dog" for his long-striding running ability, he made an instant impact in the NFL. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound cornerback led the Lions with seven pass interceptions and was runner-up to future Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes as NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year. He got his first start in 1976 at free safety, subbing for another Lions’ great, Dick Jauron who had broken his leg. He shifted to left cornerback in 1977 playing alongside another future Pro Football Hall of Famer, Lem Barney. In his seven seasons with the Lions (1976–82), Hunter led the Lions in three seasons in pass interceptions (1976, ’77 and ’80) and had 27 career interceptions. He played in 86 Lions games before a neck injury sustained late in the 1982 season ended his career.