The Cincinnati Bengals finished the 2022 NFL Draft the way they started it, by adding versatile defensive talent. With the 252nd selection, they selected Coastal Carolina defensive end Jeffrey Gunter.
What Gunter brings to the Bengals
In a word: tools.
Gunter is a big, strong, long, athletic player. He has the quickness to rush the edge, but also the power to collapse the pocket.
Gunter posted a RAS (relative athletic score) of 9.73 and particularly stood out for his speed and explosiveness. He ran a 4.7 forty and had a 10-yard-split of 1.57 seconds. His vertical was 35.5 inches and his broad jump was over 10 feet.
He brings something else the Bengals love: consistency. Gunter had 6.5 sacks in each of the last two seasons and 18 total during his college career. He also impresses against the run and had 40 tackles for a loss over the course of his time with the Chanticleers.
It may take some work, but Gunter has the tools to upgrade the Bengals’ pass-rushing unit.
Why the Bengals picked Gunter
The Bengals love versatility.
They ended Day 2 by taking a defensive tackle slash defensive end in Zachary Carter. They concluded the draft by selecting a defensive end slash outside linebacker in Gunter. This is a great fit since they play a number of odd fronts where the defensive ends stand up on the end of the line of scrimmage and at times drop into coverage.
Gunter adds depth to the defensive front. He could be a rotational contributor as a rookie and has the potential to develop into much more. This was a phenomenal pick to end this year’s draft.