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Assessing the value in Jeffrey Gunter

The Bengals ended their 2022 draft class with a solid value pick.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 03 East-West Shrine Bowl Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive-heavy 2022 NFL Draft class came to a close in Round 7 with the selection of Coastal Carolina edge defender Jeffrey Gunter.

Playing primarily on the edge in his college career, the 6-foot-4, 260-pounder had 169 tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, and nine forced fumbles across 47 games for the Chanticleers playing in the Sun Belt Conference.

In the 2021 season, Gunter had 36 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He had 58 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and six forced fumbles in 2020. Those six forced fumbles actually led the FBS that year.

Though Gunter was an outside linebacker in college, his specialty was rushing the passer, so he figures to line up on the edge a lot in Lou Anarumo’s defense. The Bengals currently have him listed as a defensive lineman.

When it comes to draft value, Gunter was a solid pick with the 252nd selection. Todd McShay ranked him 198th overall compared to 203rd by fellow ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

Though he wasn’t among PFF’s top 250 players nor CBS Sports’ top 150, Gunter still checked in at 193rd overall in Arif Hasan’s consensus big board at The Athletic.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gunter was given a Round 5-6 grade by, so this was solid value to wrap up the 2022 draft class.

As for this fall, Gunter will need an impressive training camp and preseason to make the initial 53-man roster if he’s primarily lining up on the edge, where Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson will be getting most of the snaps, while Cam Sample and Joseph Ossai are also likely to make the roster.

Gunter will likely be competing with names like Wyatt Hubert, Noah Spence and Khalid Kareem for one of those final edge spots.