2010 NFL Draft: Bengals Select Florida DE Carlos Dunlap with 54th Pick

Dan ParzychSenior Writer IApril 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

With the 54th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap.

The 6’7”, 260 lbs. standout can hopefully address the need for an effective pass-rusher on an already effective defense that was one of the best in 2009.

The Bengals entered this year’s draft with a number of positions to focus on in the first two rounds. By using their first-round pick on Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham at No. 21 , they added another target for Carson Palmer to help improve a passing unit that ranked 26th last season.

Gresham provides Cincinnati with an effective pass-catching tight end that some are comparing his level of talent to Antonio Gates.

After focusing on offense in the first round, the Bengals used their second-round pick to improve an already stellar defense. Mike Zimmer’s squad finished fourth overall last year, but Cincinnati knew they needed to add another pass-rusher to the defense if possible in the draft.

Of course, the one factor that stands out about this selection is Cincinnati adding another “troubled player” to their roster. Dunlap was arrested last December on drunken driving charges that prevented him from playing in the Sugar Bowl.

Still, Marvin Lewis and company have established a reputation as an organization well-known to bring in players despite their past. Nobody is questioning Dunlap's level of talent as a football player after he finished his junior season with 38 tackles and nine sacks.

With the type of talent Dunlap possesses, this pick may end up as a steal for the Bengals if they can manage to keep him out of trouble off-the-field.

The Bengals have two picks left in the day. Along with their third-round pick (84th), Cincinnati also has the 96th pick after receiving two compensatory picks in this year's draft.