CINCINNATI (AP) - Carlos Dunlap insisted he's learned from his
costly DUI arrest. The Cincinnati Bengals believed him.
The Bengals chose the defensive end from Florida in the second
round Friday, looking to get another lineman who can rush the
quarterback. They're aware this one must grow up before he can grow
into a regular role with one of the league's emerging defenses.
"He's going to know from when he comes in here tomorrow what
kind of guy we want in this program," defensive coordinator Mike
Zimmer said. "He'll know right off the get-go."
The 6-foot-6, 277-pound defensive end missed the Southeastern
Conference title game following a drunken driving arrest on Dec. 1.
Gainesville police found him passed out behind the wheel at an
intersection, prompting the school to suspend him. He was
reinstated three weeks later and had two sacks in a Sugar Bowl win
Dunlap pleaded no contest to driving under the influence on Jan.
29, got a year's probation and 50 hours of community service.
The court case, his practice habits and a penchant for easing up
during games gave teams pause and had analysts rating him as no
better than a second-round pick.
"Hey, they're going to talk about a lot of things," Dunlap
said, after going to Cincinnati with the 54th overall pick. "Right
now, I'm just taking all that in as motivation and looking forward
to my NFL career and proving everyone wrong."
The Bengals followed a theme in the opening three rounds of the
draft: improve the passing game and get another pass rusher.
They took tight end Jermaine Gresham from Oklahoma in the first
round on Thursday, giving quarterback Carson Palmer another
down-the-field option. A day later, they brought in another
receiver by taking Jordan Shipley from Texas with the first of
their two picks in the third round.
Shipley set school records with 116 catches for 1,485 yards last
season. He also returned punts and kickoffs.
The Bengals' passing game has struggled the last two seasons.
They got rid of Laveranues Coles after 2009 and signed Antonio
Bryant as his replacement. Chad Ochocinco is heading into the final
year on his deal. There's not much experience behind them.
The Bengals took Shipley with the 84th overall pick. Cleveland
took Texas quarterback Colt McCoy with the next pick, setting up a
potentially awkward situation for two Longhorns now divided between
the intrastate rivals.
"That might take a little while (to get used to)," Shipley
said. "But I'm working on that a little bit."
Cincinnati took cornerback Brandon Ghee from Wake Forest with
their compensatory pick at the end of the third round. Ghee ran the
fastest 40-yard dash time at the scouting combine - 4.39 seconds -
but had only one interception in 33 career starts.
"One in three years - you'd expect more," defensive backs
coach Kevin Coyle said. "That's probably why a guy like this is
still here late in the third round."
The Bengals' most intriguing pick of the day was Dunlap, who led
the SEC with 9½ sacks in 2008 and blocked three kicks, including
one during a 24-14 win over Oklahoma in the BCS title game. He had
nine sacks last season, when he started at left defensive end.
The Bengals won the AFC North last season with a young defense
that finished fourth in the league. One of its few weaknesses was
an inability to get much pressure on the quarterback from the
middle of the line. Zimmer plans to use Dunlap at a tackle spot
"One of the things I've talked about in the offseason is
getting more pressure on the quarterback from up the middle,"
Dunlap had to convince the Bengals that he wouldn't be a problem
in Cincinnati, which repeatedly got burned by taking high-risk
draft picks in the mid-2000s.
"That was the only incident on my record," Dunlap said.
"Pretty much, I told them that was my first and last incident. I
learned from it. I apologized to everyone."
The Bengals believed him.
"The people that we talked to said the kid is a tremendous
kid," Zimmer said. "He's a 3.0 student. His Wonderlic test was
off the charts high. And everyone we talked to said - 'this is a
one-time shot, the kid made a mistake, he's not this type of guy at
all.' So we really feel from the information we gathered - he made
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)