Carlos Dunlap: Boom or bust?

April, 26, 2010
4/26/10
12:10
PM ET
Cincinnati Bengals second-round pick Carlos Dunlap is one of the most intriguing draft selections this year in the AFC North.

[+] EnlargeCarlos Dunlap
Brad Schloss/Icon SMICarlos Dunlap clearly has the talent to play defensive end, but his intensity has been called into question.
In terms of talent, the Bengals got a tremendous prospect at defensive end. But every team passed over Dunlap in the first round -- and some passed Dunlap twice -- because of character and work ethic concerns.

Here is Dunlap's full scouting report, according to the draft experts at Pro Football Weekly:

  • Positives: Has exceptional body length and very long arms to disrupt passing lanes and bat balls. Has fluid movement skills, can open up his stride and string out plays to the sideline -- closes very quickly to the ball. Can split through the double-team. Engulfs ball carriers like an anaconda and is a sure tackler.
  • Negatives: His pass-rush repertoire is very limited. Intermittent intensity and effort--has a soft football-playing temperament and is too comfortable coasting and going through the motions. Lacks focus, and character is a big question -- was suspended for the SEC Championship Game after being arrested for DUI just four days before the game.

This is the enigma that is Dunlap: The positives are certainly alluring, but the negatives are very worrisome. That is why most consider Dunlap one of the biggest "boom-or-bust" players in this year's draft.

Perhaps working in Cincinnati's favor is that Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is very stern with his players. That could be just what Dunlap needs. The Bengals also have experience with risky players before -- some have worked, while others did not.

Will Dunlap pan out for the reigning AFC North champs?

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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