Jeffrey Gunter was the starting OLB/edge defender for the overachieving Sun Belt conference Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Gunter originally committed to Coastal Carolina but after a few productive seasons transferred to N.C State only to later return to Coastal Carolina. During his time at Coastal Carolina, Gunter has been a productive player and has been one of the key pillars of a Coastal Carolina team that has received national attention for its high level of play. Gunter is a thickly-built prospect that likes to use his natural strength to overwhelm offensive linemen. In the run game, Gunter mostly aligns outside of the offensive tackle and does a good job setting the edge to help force outside runs back inside toward the field. As a pass rusher, Gunter’s move is converting speed to power to collapse the pocket. In the NFL, Gunter should start his career off predominantly as a run-down defender while he continues to develop his pass rush repertoire in the NFL.
Ideal Role: Edge defender that plays on high percentage run plays
Scheme Fit: 3-4 OLB on a team that wants their edge defenders to set a hard edge to stop the run
Written by Keith Sanchez
Games watched: Kansas (2021), Arkansas State Troy (2021), South Alabama (2021)
Best Game Studied: Troy (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Kansas (2021)
First Step Explosiveness: At the snap, he seems to have a delayed reaction off the ball which hinders his ability to gain leverage on offensive linemen. When Gunter comes off the line, he uses a powerful first step that helps him generate power to knock offensive lineman back into the backfield. Gunter uses his powerful first step to play the run well and it allows him to attack offensive linemen before they are able to get off the ball.
Flexibility: Gunter shows some hip stiffness in his lack of ability to consistently turn the corner on offensive tackles to get to the quarterback. The sharp angle turns that are necessary for him to be an effective edge rusher are difficult for him to execute. Because of this deficiency, I believe Gunter takes more of a speed-to-power approach and rarely uses just speed around the edge to beat offensive linemen.
Hand Counters: Gunter has active hands in the run game but does not operate with efficiency. When in hand combat with offensive linemen, there is a lot of time wasted and Gnuter struggles to quickly beat offensive linemen in his pass rush. There seems to be a lack of a pass-rush plan and this is an aspect of Gunters’ game that needs a lot of improvement.
Length: This player has limited arm length. While he can play the run proficiently, that affects his ability to rush the passer. In his pass rush sequence, offensive linemen are able to get hands on him before he is able to engage with them. This results in him losing reps and often being a stalled pass rusher, resulting in him providing little to no pressure.
Hand Power: Gunter looks to have pretty good power in his hands that he uses to control offensive linemen in the run. Gunter is capable of grabbing offensive linemen and controlling them with his hands. He can also use his hands to swipe offensive linemen off of him if he is deciding to win with quickness against the run in a slant gap penetrating situation.
Run Defending: Playing the run is this player’s best trait. Gunter does a good job of setting a hard edge using his hands and locking the offensive lineman in place, preventing them from getting leverage on him. He is good at executing the lock and shed maneuver to make a tackle on ball-carriers that are coming in his way. In addition to this, Gunter can use his quickness combined with power to penetrate gaps and disrupt plays in the backfield.
Effort/ Motor: This player has an adequate motor, but he can use improvement in certain situations. In his pass rush sequence, once he feels that the offensive lineman is in good position to block him, he will stop working to the quarterback and just hover around the line of scrimmage. He is also an inconsistent backside defender. If the ball is going the other way he doesn’t pursue the ball-carrier.
Football IQ: While Gunter hasn’t made any spectacular plays that show a high level of football IQ he has shown to have a good football IQ. He understands the blocks that are being performed on him in the run game and works to defeat them. Gunter seems to be a player that won’t hurt your team with silly penalties.
Lateral Mobility: In situations where he has to move laterally, Gunter struggles to do so. When he has to stick his foot in the ground and redirect, he usually has to take an extra step to be able to regather his base to change direction. This shows itself in his pass rush when he has to make a counter move and shows in the run game when he needs to change direction to match the flow of the play.
Versatility: Gunter has a limited frame from a length and mass perspective that makes him a tweener and he has to play a very specific role. Gunter’s lack of true body mass prevents him from moving inside to play defensive tackle and his length prevents him from being an ideal defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. That is why his best position is a 3-4 OLB that is used primarily to stop the run on early downs.
TDN Consensus: 68.75/100 (Sixth Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 69.00/100
Sanchez Grade: 68.50/100