Top-20 Bengals Players Of 2012: No. 7 Defensive End Carlos Dunlap

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 16: Carlos Dunlap #96 of the Cincinnati Bengals returns a fumble for a touchdown during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Colts 27-17. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Though he had an inauspicious start to an NFL career, sitting for two games with a knee strain and another two as a gameday inactive, Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap quickly found his niche with the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half of his rookie season, thanks to injuries on the defensive line. His first career sack came against former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on November 14, 2010.

Dunlap generated 9.5 quarterback sacks throughout his rookie season, falling one short of Ndamukong Suh, who won the defensive rookie of the year award. The following season the second-year player became a key pass rusher, generating an intense rush with 24 hurries on the opposing quarterback during the first eight games of the season. Despite missing four games, Dunlap still finished the season ranked No. 1 in quarterback hurries and No. 2 in quarterbacks hit, second to Geno Atkins. Yet for a time last year, he struggled in translating hurries into quarterback sacks, recording 4.5 last season.

That being said he's one of the team's top pass rushers and combined with Geno Atkins, it's hard to find a more promising pass rushing duo than Dunlap and Atkins.

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