What are the Seahawks getting in Carlos Dunlap?




Wednesday started with the Cincinnati Bengals making their 2nd in-season trade of one of their own, since 1985. That alone is newsworthy. Known for never making deals, the Bengals went against their norm to accommodate Carlos Dunlap, a 2nd round pick from the 2010 draft, who had expressed a strong interest in moving on. His playtime had diminished over the last couple of weeks and it was evident he was not a good fit for this year’s version of the bungle in the jungle in Cincy. He was basically filling a role as a part time nickel rusher on 3rd downs. Seattle gave up 5th year offensive lineman B.J Finney and a 7th round pick. Said another way, a little more than a Starbucks- which we know are plentiful in the Emerald city. Here is what they are getting in return in Dunlap.


From a number standpoint, he has played 54% of the defensive snaps for the Bengals this year. He has only 1 sack and 2 QB hits but does have 10 QB hurries. I hesitate to throw out too many numbers after watching what might be the most outrageous use of numbers in sports history during the world series game- but, I digress (I’m a SF Giants fan). The Seahawks will be a much better fit scheme-wise for Dunlap. He’s a longer and leaner fit who really is best suited for DE in a 4-man line (Bengals now play 3-4 base). Seahawk fans, think Michael Bennett frame. Having said that, he is very versatile in that he can play multiple positions both from a 2pt and 3pt stance. He still has quickness and athletic ability for his age and can be effective on tricks and stunts because of it. He has a little inconsistency in his effort, especially in pursuit and vs the run in general. As we say in the business, his motor doesn’t always run hot. I do think the change of scenery will motivate him to more production in the second half of the season, if he is on a team making a playoff run that should help. I wouldn’t consider him a skilled, one on one, outside pass rusher, at this point but he has a “speed to power” move that allows him to get consistent push in the pocket, if not pressure. He is very instinctive, can read and react well to diagnose and find the ball vs the run but not as physical at the point of attack, as say Jadeveon Clowney is/was. I think he is a better player than the numbers show, vs run and pass, and with some innovation on defense by the Seahawks (which they have been known for in the past) should be much more effective in pass rush situations in Seattle than he was in Cincy. In my opinion, the Bengals defense lacks creativity and has very few blue-chip players. Seattle’s need for a flexible tool to add anything to its historical bad defense has to be looked at as a positive and a good move overall.


More trade talk coming as we approach the deadline here and on my podcast w @SandoNFL for the Athletic which airs on Tuesdays, weekly outside the pay platform for the Athletic. Keep in mind, even though the trade deadline is next Tuesday teams are looking to deal sooner than later because of the covid-19 protocols that are in place. If teams can add a player by Thursday, Oct 29, he will be eligible to play the following weekend. This is big because it gives the acquiring team and the player an extra game to participate in.



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