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King Dunlap: In-House Answer or Last Resort?

Apr 2, 2012, 3:10 PM EDT

ProFootballFocus asks whether King Dunlap is a viable candidate to replace Jason Peters by going back and looking at his seven NFL starts.

While the Eagles and just about everyone else searches for a Jason Peters replacement in free agency or the draft, we’ve suggested King Dunlap could be an option to start at either of the tackle spots. We say that with all the confidence one can have in a former seventh-round draft pick who has started all of seven games in the NFL, but he’s there.

ProFootballFocus went back and looked at those seven starts, along with a couple others where Dunlap had significant playing time, and the results might surprise some of our readers. He has certainly had his ups and downs, but the study ultimately reveals he the Eagles won’t necessarily be better off signing a Demtrius Bell or Marcus McNeill.

All of this may well be irrelevant if the Eagles sign Marcus McNeill or Demetrius Bell, but it may also be that they won’t be better off, what with the inconsistencies and injury concerns of those potential additions. Its always difficult projecting how a guy will play when given a full time starter’s role, but Dunlap has done enough to suggest he’d at least be adequate. There’ve been some poor games and some good ones, but that’s about what you’d expect from a young player who wasn’t very highly regarded coming out of college. Now entering his fourth year, he may surprise some Eagles fans, even if he doesn’t make them forget Jason Peters.

Dunlap has come a long way since he was drafted in ’08. It’s no surprise his first few outings weren’t necessarily great — though he posted a “perfect game” against the Falcons in 2010, his second career start. However, between the end of the ’10 season, and his two starts last year, Dunlap has been nothing but solid for the Birds.

Again, we’re all for finding some competition for the job, and/or adding some depth on the outside. We just think you shouldn’t rule out King Dunlap either, especially if recent performances are a sign of things to come.

>> King Dunlap: The In-house Answer? [PFF]