“I wanted to come back and tell somebody I might have seen one of the best defensive line prospects in this draft,” Cardinals’ scout Buckner said.
The selection of Gunter could be attributed to his accolades from the college ranks, such as his aforementioned all-conference selections, or it could be due to his game day statistics. Even with the accolades and statistics, many people, including Gunter himself, were surprised when the Cardinals selected him with their 4th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
As a four year starter, Rodney Gunter produced 188 tackles, 18 sacks, and 37 tackles for loss in college. These stats average out to about 47 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 9.25 tackles for loss each season. For a down lineman of Gunter’s size, these numbers are impressive, and his pro-day performance explains how he was able to put up those numbers.
During the Delaware State pro day, Gunter posted a 5.00 second 40-yard dash, an astounding time for someone over 300 pounds. He also posted a 27 inch vertical, a number that is only 1.5 inches less than running back Leonard Fournette posted in this year’s combine. This type of athleticism that the defensive lineman has displayed shows flashes of his enormous potential.