Taven Bryan drafted No. 29 overall by Jacksonville

A month ago at Florida’s Pro Day Taven Bryan said it would “suck” if he weren’t drafted in the first round. He’ll never find out if that feeling was right.

Taven Bryan was the first Florida Gator selected in the 2018 NFL Draft when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him with the 29th overall pick in the first round.

Bryan’s selection in the first round marks the sixth year in a row the Gators have had a player selected in the first round. Bryan is the 12th Florida defensive lineman drafted in the first round since 1989, the most of any school in that span.

Bryan was widely considered a first round pick when he declared early for the draft and his combine did nothing but cement that status. Bryan ran a 4.98 40-yard dash, put up 30 reps on the bench press and had a 35” vertical jump. Bryan

A lot of the buzz around Bryan is focused on his potential. Bryan’s size, speed and agility drew comparisons to Houston Texans’ defensive lineman JJ Watt. However, Bryan’s production doesn’t jump off the page. In 34 career games with the Gators he tallied 67 tackles, 10 ½ for a loss with five sacks and 7 ½ quarterback hurries.

“Tape’s really what matters, honestly, and I feel like I have really exceptional tape, especially for a 4-3 defense, so, that’s most of what we played,” Bryan said at Florida’s Pro Day.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC