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Gators showcased talent for NFL Draft Wednesday

Florida Football Insiders



Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

Having had a bounce-back 2018 season under coach Dan Mullen, there’s a lot of optimism for the future of Florida football. And on Wednesday, there was the latest example of what kind of talent the Gators seemingly have on their roster in year in and year out.

That’s when Florida held their 2019 Pro Day for their NFL draft prospects. And, it is believed that the Gators may have as many as five players taken in the first two rounds of the upcoming late April NFL draft.

The Gators have a litany of pro prospects led by defensive linemen CeCe Jefferson and Jachai Polite, plus linebacker Vosean Joseph and defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.

Plus on the offensive side of the ball they may have the best offensive tackle in the draft in Jawaan Taylor.

We have written previously about Taylor stock being on the rise in and around the NFL Combine, and it’s no secret that on Wednesday most of the NFL teams front office personnel and scouts were there to see one more time, if he is really top 10 material.

And one Florida NFL team it’s apparently spending a lot of time looking at him:

As it currently stands now, the Buccaneers (5th pick) are in front of the Jaguars (7th), who also have a need a tackle and likewise, the Dolphins (13th) who could also use a young tackle opposite Laremy Tunsil. And, Tampa Bay has already bolstered their offensive line earlier in free agency by re-signing tackle Donovan Smith to a huge deal, but they need a right tackle for their future, too.

It’s not believed that Taylor will last much beyond the top 10 or the top 15 at the latest in the draft.

Back to the defensive side of the ball, we also wrote that teams would be wrong to judge Polite by what he did or didn’t accomplish at the NFL Combine or how he interviewed. Instead, we believe they should emphasize the game film of the Gators pass rusher.

And, out of the same mold of numerous Gator defensive backs, who have been drafted highly in recent year is Gardner-Johnson. His stock rose greatly at the end of last year, including him being the Peach Bowl defensive MVP with a pick six TD in the win over Michigan New Year’s Day.

And one NFL coach who always loves defensive players and specifically DBs was in attendance to look over the Gators, himself:

Bill Belichick has been coming to eyeball Gators for the past 15 years and has taken numerous Florida players in the draft in the 2000s. And he and others have known that no matter the overall record, there has always been talent.

Talent that worked out again, Wednesday.

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