We are currently ranking the best players based on the round that they were drafted during the Marvin Lewis era. #5 is Rey Maualuga.
|#4 Carlos Dunlap|
When Carlos Dunlap was drafted in the second round, it was based off the team's need to improve their pass rush. He missed two games to start the season with a knee strain he suffered in the preseason, recorded a quarterback pressure against the Carolina Panthers in his first career NFL game and was inactive in consecutive games afterwards. When Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer were asked what was taking Dunlap so long to get on the field, both cited a need to practice better, understanding what it meant to be a professional.
And if it weren't injuries to Jonathan Fanene, Frostee Rucker and Antwan Odom (along with a four-game suspension), we're not sure if we would have seen much of Dunlap in 2010. Thankfully, we did.
Dunlap's first career quarterback sack came against Peyton Manning in week 11. After being shutout against the Bills, Dunlap went on a streak of recording at least a shared sack for six straight games. Dunlap ended the season with 9.5 quarterback sacks, setting a franchise rookie record for most quarterback sacks in a season. He's also the first rookie to lead the team in quarterback sacks since linebacker James Francis did it in 1990 (8.0). Dunlap also posted 28 tackles, 11 quarterback pressures, three passes broken up and a fumble recovery.
There's no doubt if he repeats his rookie season in 2011, Dunlap could easily be one of the top two best drafted second rounders during the Marvin Lewis era.