As we continue our series of NFL Draft prospect profiles (I seem to write that phrase almost every day, I know) let's look at one of those 'potential vs. production' player NFL scouts and general managers have such a hard time deciding on.
That would be Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. had Dunlap going to the Giants in his initial mock draft. So do many other mock drafts I have seen.
Is it smart for the Giants to use their first-round pick on a defensive end? I'm not sure about that. If they do go defensive end, is Dunlap the right guy? I'm not sure about that, either.
He is a guy who many think has top five or six talent in the first round. But, there are concerns about attitude and passion that might lead to Dunlap falling farther than his talent would indicate in the April draft.
Let's take a closer look.
Carlos Dunlap Scouting Reports
From SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.
Has seen plenty of time inside and outside, left and right. Was moved all over the place at Florida, creates mismatches and absorbed double teams across the line. His best performances have come from the inside as a pass rushing defensive tackle.
Dunlap is the kind of player that will be drafted higher than what his production would lead one to believe. The physical tool set that he brings to the table is as good as it gets and any defensive line coach that is confident in their ability to get the most out of a player will drool over Dunlap’s potential. Dunlap has shown flashes of being unblockable, but those kinds of performances were too few and far between, as his lack of consistency was maddening to watch. There are motivational issues with him as his level of effort given on each play is up and down. Because of the physical package he brings to the table and the flashes of strong performance, Dunlap could break his way in to the top 10 because of the ceiling he possesses. However the underachiever label that has been placed on his name will scare some away because of the contracts that will be required that high in the draft.
From Walter Football, which was not very complimentary to Dunlap at all.
Summary: At times I will see Dunlap make a nice hustle play, but these moments are few and far between. He'll make a tackle for a loss when he wasn't even blocked, but this doesn't show up statistically. Dunlap is an extremely overrated prospect with very poor intangibles. He could get drafted anywhere from the top 10 (Jamaal Anderson/Derrick Harvey) to the second round (Calais Campbell).
Player Comparison: Jamaal Anderson. Anderson has had a mediocre work ethic and played very sloppy, lazy football for Atlanta. I anticipate the same for Dunlap in the NFL.
Walter Football also said "Doesn't seem to love the game."
Work ethic and effort in practice have improved over the past three years but he still needs to mature and become a more consistent player. Recent DUI arrest (12/1/09) adds to character and maturity concern. ...
Flashes the ability to toss interior offensive linemen to the side. Flashes the ability to collapse the pocket coming off the edge. Shows an effective spin move and has the potential to develop an arsenal of pass rush moves.
Sideline Scouting has this to say.
Dunlap has huge potential, but needs to be more consistent. He has about as much upside as anyone in this years draft.
Why Dunlap fits with the Giants
Pass-rushing defensive ends are valuable commodities. It's why the Giants will do everything possible to keep Osi Umenyiora. It's why some team will spend a high draft pick on Dunlap despite the concerns about his work ethic. If the Giants think they need to move Umenyiora, and replace him in the draft, Dunlap will be on the list of guys to take that spot.
Why the Giants should pass
I am coming around to the idea that a pass-rushing defensive end would not be a horrible selection. But, Dunlap might not be right pass-rushing defensive end. Derrick Morgan of Georgia Tech is a guy who works harder and has been more productive, and Jason Pierre-Paul of South Florida might also be a better option if the Giants really wanted to go in this direction. If the guy isn't willing to work, that had under-achiever and huge headache written all over it. If the Giants want that, they can just keep Umenyiora and go in another direction with their first couple of draft picks. The more I do these profiles the more I realize there are a great many tremendous athletes out there, and that work ethic needs to weigh heavily -- especially when this type of money is involved.