The Cincinnati Bengals' defensive line was among the most notable flaws in 2020, and they tried to mend those issues.
They started to fix them by adding New Orleans Saints star defensive end Trey Hendrickson, and he proved to be a star. D.J. Reader helped clog up the middle as well.
The Bengals also took Joseph Ossai in the third round of the 2021 draft, but he didn’t play as a rookie due to injury. The 6-foot-4 rusher will help the Bengals without costing them to spend anything in free agency.
Another unforeseen aid to their pass rush could be seventh-round pick Jeff Gunter. Day 3 picks aren’t always guaranteed to make the roster, and Gunter could certainly have been a player on the chopping block.
His play in training camp, almost having a multi-sack day this past week, could keep him in the Queen City. He’s impressed with his quickness so far.
2. It was an outstanding day for the defensive line in general. Here 7th-round draft pick Jeffrey Gunter shows his quickness in a 1-on-1 pass rush drill. He also had a sack during the full team period pic.twitter.com/h6YWEnJCJv— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) August 4, 2022
Gunter was a standout rusher at Coastal Carolina, a program that has surged in the Sun Belt the past few seasons. Gunter played all four years there, accumulating 8.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks this past season.
Here’s what he told The Athletic’s Jay Morrison and Paul Dehner Jr.
“Today was a good day. I learned a lot of stuff, and I think I made some plays. And watching Trey and Sam? Man, those are some of the best football players in the world. Just having both of them here at the same time, learning from each, I’m a kid in a candy shop. I’m just soaking it up,” Gunter said.
While it still may be unlikely he gets many snaps, Gunter may have already done enough to earn a spot on the final roster.