The defensive end/edge position is a crowded one. It is going to be difficult for guys to separate themselves. However, Gunter is starting to do just that. Throughout training camp, we have heard that Gunter was getting the best of the offensive line on several occasions. Even Jonah Williams. We waited with bated breath to see how he would perform against different colored jerseys. He did not disappoint.
Gunter showed incredible quickness at the snap of the ball. A little too quick one time, drawing an offside penalty. He appeared to be in the offense’s backfield constantly. His relentlessness finally paid off in the second quarter when he was credited with a sack. He also had a nice pass breakup on an attempted screen pass.
His performance last night, along with what we have heard from training camp, has Gunter’s stock on the rise. So look for him to get more reps against what will hopefully be closer to first-string competition. The question now is can Gunter do enough to surpass his competition at the edge positions? He is facing an uphill battle where that is concerned. But he is off to a good start.
Another draft pick looking to make his mark was Zach Carter. His transition from primarily a defensive end in college to a three-tech defensive tackle seems to be going swimmingly.
He pushed the guard backward in the first quarter to make a good play on a quarterback draw. On the next play, Carter beat a double team to force McSorley to take off. The play was a negative for the Bengals’ defense but a positive rep for Carter. In the second quarter, he had a batted pass.
Carter finished the evening with four tackles, and one pass defended. The third-rounder will be on the final 53-man roster barring injury. The only question is how much Carter will contribute this year. If last night was any indication, he could see plenty of action sooner rather than later.