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2017 NFL Draft Prospects: Florida Gators

2017 NFL Draft
The Florida Gators have twelve eligible prospects entering the 2017 NFL draft (Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

There are many NCAA schools riddled with NFL talent on their rosters. Each player has the sparkle in his eye and the hope of hearing his name called in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 27th. The reality is, not everyone can be selected during the 2017 NFL draft. Today, I break down the NFL talent from the University of Florida.

The Florida Gators

The Gators have twelve prospects that have a chance to hear their name called during the 2017 NFL draft. Let’s take a more in-depth look at each player.

Quincy Wilson – CB

2017 NFL Draft
Quincy Wilson tackles Damien Harris during the SEC Championship game (Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 211 lbs.

Quincy Wilson will get drafted much higher than most people think. Last season, Wilson recorded six pass breakups and three interceptions (one for a touchdown). Three interceptions and six pass breakups doesn’t seem like much, but Wilson was only targeted 49 times in thirteen games (3.77 targets per game). According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed a 29.9 NFL passer rating on throws to his coverage in 2016.

Wilson is known for being extremely physical at the line of scrimmage. He likes to use his big body as leverage in press coverage. Wilson also adds a different dimension as he seeks to cover the opposing team’s best receiver. He attacks the football like a wideout.

In addition to his physical gifts, Wilson has the mindset that turns good players, into great players at the next level. Wilson loves to compete. He continually showed grit and toughness throughout his college career. One AFC executive told,

“He may not be that clean with his coverage but I would rather go to war with him over (Teez) Tabor any day. He’s big and he’s tough. Tabor has more talent but Wilson just has to find the right spot because he’s got the mindset to be a pro player.”

Like I mentioned earlier, Quincy Wilson will get drafted higher than anticipated. I see Wilson going in the early/middle 1st round to the New Orleans Saints (11th overall). He will add much-needed size and physicality to a team that faces three big-bodied receivers twice a year (Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Kelvin Benjamin).

Player Comparison: Xavier Rhodes

Jarrad Davis – ILB

2017 NFL Draft
Jarrad Davis lickin’ his chops before the sack (Photo via Tim Casey)

Height: 6’1″
Weight: 238 lbs.

Unfortunately, Jarrad Davis was injured for nearly a third of last year’s season. Additionally, Davis did not participate in the NFL combine, however, he was determined to make up for it while competing at the Florida Gators Pro Day.

Davis has a shredded physique with excellent flexibility and top-notch explosiveness. He also sheds blocks well and can be used as a weapon while blitzing. Although Davis has the speed to cover tight ends, he will need to continue working on his coverage skills.

Scouts are salivating over Davis’ athletic ability, but they are just as excited about his leadership, work ethic, and character. He has the physical ability to be a good player and the intangibles to become a great one. An AFC executive told,

“He’s good. I don’t care about some of those holes you are talking about. Kill him so maybe somebody will listen to you and he can fall to us. We’ll take him.”

Jarrad Davis will be selected early in the 2nd round. He would fill immediate holes for teams like the Cincinnati Bengals (41st overall) or the Arizona Cardinals (45th overall).

Player Comparison: Navorro Bowman

Caleb Brantley – DT

2017 NFL Draft
Caleb Brantley getting after the quarterback (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo)

Height: 6’3″
Weight: 307 lbs.

Last season, according to Pro Football Focus, Caleb Brantley recorded 23 run stops and 23 quarterback hurries. He has a quick and explosive first step that he combines with his effective “hand-swiping” to penetrate the line of scrimmage.

Lance Zierlein wrote on

“Powerful, stout defensive tackle with the quickness to play the three-technique and the power to play the nose. Brantley has the talent and traits that should appeal to both two-gap and one-gap defenses. While we haven’t seen Brantley play in even half of Florida’s defensive snaps in a single year, the talent is there to become an early starter and a defensive force up front.”

Brantley has the strength to play at the next level. He loves to clog holes as well as get after the quarterback. While he will occasionally get flagged for a neutral zone infraction, he uses his timing ability as an advantage to get in the backfield. Additionally, he has the will to eat up and stand his ground against double teams.

Caleb “the bull” Brantley will get selected in the middle of the 2nd round. Brantley would fit perfectly with teams like the Detroit Lions (53rd overall) or the Oakland Raiders (56th overall) who are looking for run stuffing/pass rushing core defensive lineman.

Player Comparison: Geno Atkins

The Other Gators

Marcus Maye (FS) – Early 3rd round (72nd overall) – New England Patriots.
Teez Tabor (CB) – Mid 3rd round (84th overall) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
David Sharpe  (OT) – Mid 4th round (121st overall) – Minnesota Vikings.
Alex Anzalone (OLB) –  Mid 4th round (125th overall) – Tennessee Titans.
Bryan Cox (DE) – Late 6th round (211th overall) –  Dallas Cowboys.
Joey Ivie (DT) – Undrafted.
Austin Appleby (QB) – Undrafted.
Daniel McMillian  (OLB) – Undrafted.
Ahmad Fulwood (WR) – Undrafted.

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