When I watched Florida vs LSU last weekend, I was fairly content that Carlos Dunlap warranted the high praise he's received as a potential top 2010 prospect. He has a superb combination of size (6'6", 293lbs) and speed, leading to obvious comparisons to 2006 first overall pick Mario Williams. Not everyone's a fan though, just ask Matt McGuire from Walterfootball.com:
"You are a joke of a prospect. There is absolutely no excuse for playing three games on national television and making only two or three impressive plays in that timespan. I'm not kidding - I call it like I see it. I don't want to make a mis-evaluation and be laughed at a year from now." - Matt McGuire, Walterfootball.com
Strong words. I think it's important to state at this point, that I understand why people would assume Dunlap doesn't always put in maximum effort. He's a very laid back character. In between snaps, he'll have his hands on his hips and he'll saunter back to the line of scrimmage. Does he put in the same amount of relentless effort as Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech) or Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska)?
Not at all.
But I think McGuire's review is overly harsh. Dunlap was frequently double teamed by LSU and although this restricted his ability to break into the backfield, it did provide a number of opportunities for Brandon Spikes to exploit the Tigers' interior line. When he was afforded one-on-one combat, he was superb. He blew past his blocker and flew into the backfield, frequently getting into the quarterbacks face.
Scouts, Inc. currently rank Dunlap as their #1 ranked prospect for 2010. NFL Draft Scout grades Dunlap as the #1 defensive end prospect amongst his peers and the 4th overall junior prospect behind only Eric Berry, Sam Bradford and Gerald McCoy. Mel Kiper has Dunlap at #6 on his 2010 big board. It might be worth keeping an eye on Florida's defensive end over the next few weeks to see if his stock fluctuates. He currently has just two sacks on the year, with Arkansas next up for the Gators.