In what the draft experts are calling a "Boom or Bust" selection, the Bengals opted for the best pass rusher on the board Friday night and took Florida junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap in the second round with the 54th pick. For the second straight pick they went for the highest-rated player.
The 6-5, 277-pound Dunlap is regarded as a guy with enormous physical skills who racked up 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. But he missed the SEC championship game with a DUI arrest four days before the game after leading the SEC in sacks.
The Bengals were apparently satisfied that the DUI is his only blemish. He had a high test score as well as a 3.0 grade point average. But the scouting reports say that defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and defensive line coach Jay Hayes are going to have to light a fire under him.
"Consistent passion for the game and intensity is not in his vocabulary," said Ourlads Scouting Services. "He has demonstrated the ability to be a top flight player."
It looks like Dunlap would be a left end backing up Robert Geathers with the ability of moving into tackle on passing downs. That could conceivably give the Bengals four pass rushers on the field at the same time on third down: Geathers and Michael Johnson at ends and Dunlap and Antwan Odom inside.
With the Bengals set to play six games against top nine passing teams in the league last season, Zimmer has spent the winter and spring emphasizing defending the pass.