With the summer in full swing and NFL training camps less than two months away now, we gathered our Cincy Jungle staff to rank the top 25 Bengals of the 2020 season.
This ranking is simply who we believe are the 25 best Bengals heading into next season. It includes veterans and rookies alike, though it obviously is more favorable of players who’ve actually played snaps in the NFL, so don’t expect guys like Joe Burrow to be a top-five player right off the bat.
For a recap of the list, check out our stream here.
As we continue our top-25 rankings, coming in at No. 6 is a long-time Bengals that’s been a staple of the defense. At this point, you should already be thinking it’s one of two stars on the line.
No. 6: Carlos Dunlap, Defensive End
For the Bengals, the 2010 draft class was hit or miss; however, on the two they hit on, they knocked it out of the park. With their second-round pick, the team took Dunlap. Then, in the fourth round they took Geno Atkins.
The duo has created a force that has led Cincinnati defensive line for now over a decade.
While Atkins is more in the middle of the line, Dunlap has cemented himself as one of the team’s best pass rushers in the franchise’s history. Dunlap is the organization’s leader in sacks at 81.5 with teammate Atkins coming in second.
Coming into 2020, Dunlap, after the addition of free agent nose tackle D.J. Reader, should be ready for a career year.
Last season, he totaled 9.0 sacks and 63 combined tackles in 14 games with his best performance coming in the team’s first win against the New York Jets, a game in which he totaled three sacks.
Both of those totals from last season were the second highest of the two-time Pro Bowlers career.
That said, the Bengals defense, given their offense’s inability to maintain possessions, was on the field quite a bit. With a bit more rest, Dunlap should have an even greater impact this season.
His consistent play mixed with his lethal combination of speed and strength make him a force for this defense. Now with Sam Hubbard also on the edge, the Bengals will look to contain a few mighty AFC North quarterbacks this season.