Buyer Beware: Carlos Dunlap Has Bust Written All Over Him

Benjamin C. Klein@@BenjaminCKleinCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2010

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 7: Defensive end Carlos Dunlap #8  of the Florida Gators sets on defense against the Vanderbilt Commodores  on November 7, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Florida junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap deserves to slide out of the first round in the upcoming 2010 NFL Draft.

Dunlap has been hyped as one of the draft’s elite defensive prospects, but his game film reveals startling flaws. Those flaws combined with Dunlap’s recent arrest and suspension should give pause to NFL general managers of taking him in the first round. The following is my analysis of Carlos Dunlap and why he deserves to be a second rounder at best.  

Positives           

Dunlap combines rare size for a defensive end, 6’6" and 290 lbs, with excellent top end speed and acceleration. He has experience playing both left and right defensive end and has flashed elite potential rushing the quarterback and disrupting the run.

Negatives

Where to begin? The first thing that jumped out at me about Dunlap is how slow he is timing the snap. He is often the 22nd player reacting to the ball being snapped, and this lack of timing often allows offensive lineman to get into his pads much easier and erase him from the play.

Even after Dunlap finally reacts to the ball being snapped, he often plays confused. The evidence of Dunlap’s confusion is in his footwork; there is no other excuse as to why his foot speed and angles taken are so slow and poor.

These flaws would be somewhat negated if Dunlap played with a consistently high motor, but he doesn’t. Dunlap will take a play off from time to time, it's blatant and puts the defense at a huge disadvantage.

And the icing on the Dunlap cake is his immaturity. With some college juniors, immaturity issues can be explained away due to age; this is not the case with Dunlap. Dunlap’s DWI leading up to Florida’s game with Alabama is ample evidence that he just doesn’t get it. If Urban Meyer can't get through to Dunlap, what makes anyone think an NFL coach can? 

That kind of disregard for your teammates and innocent bystanders so close to the biggest game of his life is just a major red flag.

Conclusion

Dunlap deserves to be selected in the second round. Despite Dunlap’s world of physical skills, his actions on and off the field show that he doesn’t get it. His awareness and instincts at defensive end are horrible and his motor wildly inconsistent. Add that he is liable to get in trouble off the field and he just isn’t worth the money a first round pick is due.

Still I can see him being taken in the top 10 picks and being a massive bust after getting paid. Some defensive coordinator or head coach will become entranced by Dunlap's physical gifts and convince the general manager that they somehow will be the ones to magically get through to Dunlap and turn him into the next Mario Williams. Odds are his career will more closely mirror that of Derrick Harvey. 

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