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Film Room: Jeff Gunter impresses in debut

The seventh-round pick turned some heads against the Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a ton of young talent, the defensive line is the most competitive group in Cincinnati Bengals training camp.

On Friday night, Jeff Gunter did not make life any easier for those tasked with determining the final roster in Cincinnati. The team’s seventh-round pick this season, Gunter made some excellent plays for the Bengals defense.

Gunter is #93 at the bottom of the screen.

Despite coming up short of making the tackle, Gunter made it extremely difficult for the Cardinals to execute on this run play. He immediately penetrated deep in to the backfield, giving the runner no choice but to head straight for the sideline.

Gunter has a great burst off the ball and was actually flagged for getting off the ball a little too quickly on one play.

Gunter is #93 at the bottom of the screen.

This clip is pretty typical of Gunter’s performance as an edge rusher against the Cardinals. He has a great burst off the edge, but isn’t able to get over the top. That’s okay, because that’s not how he wins. The Bengals have players like Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard, and Joseph Ossai who can do that. Gunter is different. He is better on the move. His quickness will help him shoot inside gaps or loop inside to make the play.

Let’s take a look at a couple of plays where he did just that.

Gunter is #93 at the bottom of the screen.

Fellow rookie Zach Carter and Gunter run a twist on this play. Carter (95) lines up inside, but on the snap he runs wide into the B-gap and draws the block of the offensive tackle.

Gunter takes two hard steps up field, then on his third step he cuts inside. The guard, who is attempting to release for a screen, trips him up a bit, but overall this is a well-executed stunt.

This demonstrates exactly how defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo can put Gunter in situations that he can win and make him a valuable rotational piece for this defensive front.

Gunter is #93 at the bottom of the screen.

This is another example of Gunter running a twist.

This time the guard picks it up, but watch Gunter’s feet. He taps his feet, almost like a wide receiver breaking on a route, as he cuts inside.

Gunter is #93 at the bottom of the screen.

Gunter’s lone sack of the night did not come off a stunt. He was rushing to the outside, but when he saw the quarterback tuck the ball to run up the middle, Gunter disengaged and made the tackle. This was excellent awareness and hustle by the rookie.

His performance in the team’s preseason debut has created some buzz around Gunter. With a young and talented group of defensive linemen reporting to camp, making the final cut will be an uphill battle, but Gunter put his best foot forward under the prime time lights. He showed what he does best and how he can be a valuable and productive member of this defensive unit.