Four Florida Gators football players realized NFL Dreams on the third and final day of the NFL Draft Saturday afternoon.
Linebacker Antonio Morrison was the fourth Gator selected and first of the day when the Indianapolis Colts selected him with the 125th overall pick in the fourth round. Demarcus Robinson went with the very next pick to the Kansas City Chiefs. Two more rounds would go by before another Gator would be picked. Kelvin Taylor was the next player selected when the San Francisco 49ers selected him with the 211th overall pick in the sixth round and Alex McCalister followed soon after in the seventh, when the Philadelphia Eagles picked him 240th overall.
Morrison’s path to the draft was a gallant one, returning to the field less than nine months after a devastating knee injury in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl. Morrison came into his own that season — his third in Gainesville — leading the Gators with 101 tackles. During his senior season Morrison once again led Florida in tackles (103) but teams still had questions about the linebacker, questions that were amplified when he wasn’t able to workout at the scouting combine.
Morrison used Florida’s Pro Day to show scouts that he was fully healed from his past knee injuries. He bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times, ran a reported 5.1 in the 40-yard dash, and most importantly, didn’t show a limp or any lingering effects post surgery. Morrison joins former Gators Jonotthan Harrison and Earl Okine in Indianapolis.
Demarcus Robinson had ups and downs throughout his three years in Gainesville, mainly staying out of trouble and staying on the field. When he was on the field Robinson was Florida’s best playmaker. He finishes his college career with 101 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. Robinson joins former Gators Frankie Hammond and Jay Howard with Kansas City.
Kelvin Taylor had his best season in 2015, by far. The junior rushed for 1,035 yards on 259 carries and scored 13 touchdowns. Taylor was a workhorse for the Gators all season and rushed for over 100 yards in five games. Taylor finished his career with 2,108 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns. He joins former Gators Trent Brown and Jeff Driskel in San Francisco.
Alex McCalister was Florida’s best pass rusher, but he only saw action in nine games last year and had multiple suspensions for off the field issues during his time in Gainesville. Those red flags likely caused McCalister to fall in the draft. He joins Trey Burton, Caleb Sturgis and Jaylen Watkins as former Gators now residing in Philadelphia.
Gators selected in the 2016 NFL Draft
Vernon Hargreaves – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – No. 13 – 1st round
Keanu Neal – Atlanta Falcons – No. 17 – 1st round
Jon Bullard – Chicago Bears – No. 72 – 3rd round
Antonio Morrison – Indianapolis Colts – No. 125 – 4th round
Demarcus Robinson – Kansas City Chiefs – No. 126 – 4th round
Kelvin Taylor – San Francisco – No. 211 – 6th round
Alex McCalister – Philadelphia – No. 240 – 7th round