Rookie Jeff Gunter is hoping he can stick around on the Cincinnati Bengals roster this year but it’s going to be a challenge. What should fans expect from him?
The Cincinnati Bengals spent their seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Jeff Gunter out of Coastal Carolina. While drafted rookies have a slight advantage in training camp and preseason when it comes to making the roster, there’s no guarantee that Gunter makes it onto the 53-man roster.
Gunter played his college ball at Coastal Carolina in the SunBelt Conference and he’s coming off a season where he notched 36 tackles (8.5 for loss), 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one defended pass, and one recovered fumble. Gunter is one of the speedier defensive linemen on the roster, which could help him make the roster.
Bengals Roster: What should fans expect from Jeff Gunter in 2022?
Before we dive into what Gunter’s role could be, let’s take a look at the rest of the defensive line depth in Cincinnati.
The starting defensive ends are obviously going to be Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard and that’s not up for debate. Behind those two, the only guaranteed spots belong to Joseph Ossai and potentially last year’s fourth-round rookie Cam Sample. Khalid Kareem is the one whose roster spot could be in jeopardy, especially with both Gunter and 2021 seventh-rounder Wyatt Hubert also looking to make the team.
If Gunter is able to sneak his way onto the 53-man roster, he’ll be used in a rotational situation and will likely see a lot of time on special teams as well. If he doesn’t make the team, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be forgotten, as a practice squad spot would be in the cards for him.
It’s rare for the Bengals, especially in recent years, to not put their drafted rookies on the roster but with all of the depth they have on the defensive line, Gunter might not make the cut.
What realistic expectations do you have for Jeff Gunter this year?