The two big events are now in the rear view mirror and all that remains are some selected individual team workouts for the Gators awaiting the NFL Draft. In about six weeks the wait will end with about ten Gators likely to hear their names called and possibly more.
After the pro scout day last Wednesday and following up with a wide variety of draft reports and consultants it appears a trip of Gators have moved up significantly from where they were two months ago, and one or two appears to be headed in the other direction.
Things can still change in the weeks ahead, but here is my best guess as to how things will sort out.
Round One (2)
Jarvis Moss —– The closest thing to Jevon Kearse in this year’s draft, Moss has the potential to carry more than his current 250 pounds. This wingspan and speed are most impressive and he’ll go a couple of picks either side of number twenty. Denver would love to get him at # 21, but Pittsburgh (# 15) may not let that happen. Reggie Nelson —– Probably hurt himself a bit at Indianapolis but erased those concerns running 4.31 and 4.35 in Gainesville. While he has dropped into the high 20’s on many lists, he has to go sooner than that. RFN will be chosen in close proximity to where Moss goes. I’d love to see him go to the New York Giants at # 20.
Round Two (2)
Brandon Siler —– Combine great football instincts and personality traits with good workouts and a lousy LB draft and Siler now looks like he could sneak into the final few picks in round one. Still round two is a safer bet, in the top ten in that round. Might the Bears like another Gator?
Ray MacDonald —– Can play everywhere on the defensive line and would be a sure first rounder if not for two major knee surgeries. I expect him to go in the middle of round two.
Round Three (1)
Earl Everett —– Everett is sliding because of mediocre times in the 40 as he battles a nagging hamstring. If there’s one thing I’m certain of, its Earl Everett’s foot speed. After 75 or so players have been chosen he will be the best athlete on the board.
Round Four (2)
Marcus Thomas —– There will be a lot of interesting talk between day one and day two about this superb talent with poor self discipline. Someone will trade up to grab him early on Sunday and that team might well get the steal of the draft. Or…..
DeShawn Wynn —– His injury history scares a lot of teams, but he has NFL skills and an NFL body and a team looking for a backup could do a whole lot worse.
Round Five (1)
Ryan Smith —– This is a great round for someone looking for corner depth and finding a guy with Smith’s talent. Another year at Florida could well have moved him into day one in 2008, but he made the move to try the NFL this year and will have to settle for a later call.
Round Six (2)
Chris Leak —– He doesn’t have great NFL “measurables” but his record of winning and productivity gets him into someone’s camp. He should be someone’s # 3 guy for several years.
Joe Cohen —– I’m a little out on the limb here with Joe carrying grades that indicate free agent status, but his last two college games were a sneak preview of what he’s capable of. He’s a very good value here with his size, strength and attitude.
Round Seven (2)
Dallas Baker —– Like Cohen, his grades are not good, but his video sure the heck is. A rangy possession receiver who is willing to take a hit to make a catch is always worth having.
Reggie Lewis —– His lack of speed hurts him, but he makes plays, is a physical tackler and will be very good on kick coverage.
Free agents (3)
Steve Rissler —– Can play guard or center. Has decent size and plenty of experience
Steven Harris —– Like Cohen, Harris shined in the very late stages of his college career, but his play down the stretch makes him worth a look.
Jemalle Cornelius —– Jemalle has excellent quickness but not great speed. He had decent productivity in college and should get a chance somewhere.
The draft is April 28-29, so you never know what might happen between now and then. It’s got to be excruciating for them.