It was just about a year ago when we alerted TFY Draft readers that the floodgates would open in Columbia, South Carolina and a number of Gamecock underclassmen would be surprise entries into the NFL Draft. And they were. Today we report on an expected large number of underclassmen from another SEC team expected to enter next April’s event in this exclusive.
We’ve been closely monitoring the situation surrounding defensive end Carlos Dunlap throughout the day and have spoken with a number of sources in and around the Gainesville area. Dunlap was arrested on a DWI charge after he was found slumped over his steering wheel, asleep at a traffic light. Sources told us earlier today that Dunlap had likely played his “last game at Florida,” which caught us by surprise as it means the junior will be suspended not only for the SEC Championship game but may not play in the Gators bowl game, likely to be of the BCS variety.
Two months ago we alerted readers in our SEC/ACC Draft Notes that Dunlap would enter the draft after the season. This is now considered a foregone conclusion by those surrounding the Gator program.
Another player we mentioned as likely to enter the draft in that report was cornerback Joe Haden. This is another foregone conclusion in Gatorland. We have Haden rated as our number one cornerback and people have told us they expect the junior to blow up the combine. Haden’s dad is a semi-pro body builder and has trained his son in Maryland for years. Haden has previously completed 20 reps on the bench at 225lbs and has a 40-inch vertical jump to his credit.
Dunlap and Haden are not the only two Gators likely to leave for the NFL.
Sources have told us tight end Aaron Hernandez is also planning on making a beeline for the NFL. Hernandez is having a career year and ranks as Tim Tebow’s favorite target. Hernandez does an adequate job blocking but his height/weight numbers may raise some concerns.
The next question on most minds is “what will the Pouncey twins do?”
The feeling is center Maurkice Pouncey will enter the draft. He could be the first pivot blocker selected. If Maurkice leaves for the draft there’s a good chance his brother Michael Pouncey will follow, though that is not a sure thing.
Sources have told us there’s a very good chance both Gator safeties, Ahmad Black and Major Wright will head off to the NFL. Black has had a good season but his height, which is barely 5’9.5”, will concern scouts. Wright has not developed this season as we thought he would, a direct result of the rotational system used with the Gator safeties. The potential rookie salary cap was the reason given for both Black and Wright giving serious consideration to making the jump.
The most surprising name we hear likely to enter the draft is running back Chris Rainey. The red-shirt sophomore is third on the team with 541 rushing yards and four rushing scores.
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