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Bengals take gamble on Dunlap

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Posted April 23, 2010 @ 7:40 p.m.
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Mike Wilkening

The Bengals are going to take some heat for drafting Florida DE Carlos Dunlap in Round Two. He is a marvelous talent; anyone who racks up 18½ sacks in his final two seasons against Southeastern Conference competition gets your attention. 

However, Dunlap comes with character concerns. He was arrested on a DWI charge four days before the SEC title game and was subsquently suspended for the game. What's more, his effort has been questioned  — "too comfortable coasting and going through the motions," notes PFW's 2010 Draft Guide.

The Bengals will bank on Dunlap maturing. They'll give him the benefit of the doubt. If that opens them to criticism, so be it; they don't shy away from taking a chance on a talented player. If Dunlap is a productive pro, they will look wise; if he struggles, their decision will be panned, for this is a deep draft.

Me? The more I thought about it, the more I thought this an intriguing selection. Dunlap has the tools to be a very good pro, and he doesn't have to be a starter from the get-go, so if he needs some time to learn the pro game, he'll get it. The Bengals have quietly built a pretty talented front seven, and Dunlap could become a key part of it in time.


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