Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Updated: January 2, 5:13 PM ET
Rookie Watch: Dunlap flashing potential
By Matt Williamson
Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap probably should have made my list last week. I have been very aware of what he has done of late, but he just was not a factor during the first half of the season, which is why I have been reluctant to include him among a stellar crop of rookies.
But he is a factor now and has come on strong. Dunlap has a body type similar to Mario Williams and was simply phenomenal two years ago at the University of Florida. Last year, his motor didn't always run hot and he demanded a ton of attention from opposing blocking schemes. There was also some concern with his quick-twitch athleticism. As a result, he was not a first-round pick.
Dunlap seems quicker and more explosive now than during his final season in college. He also uses his huge body well and shows power and pop on impact. Dunlap might be the best news for a downtrodden Bengals franchise in 2010, as it has desperately needed help with its pass rush in recent seasons. Dunlap might just be the answer. He added another sack to his résumé in Week 16 as the Bengals upset San Diego. Dunlap is playing like a first-rounder now.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.