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NFL Draft

Interesting NFL names- new players at Tuesday Shrine Bowl practice

Florida Football Insiders

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Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Practice got underway Tuesday for the 95th playing of the East-West Shrine Bowl college all-star game to be played Saturday at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg.

And, not only are there players of interest working out for scouts, personnel directors and position coaches of NFL teams, but a couple of interesting prominent coaching figures from the Florida NFL teams were at the Tuesday Morning workout.

First, fresh off their tough National Championship game 42-25 loss Monday night in New Orleans to LSU, three members of the Clemson football team did arrive mid-day at the conclusion of things for day one of  Shrine Bowl practices.

The Shrine Bowl tweeted out the introductions of  Tigers linemen Gage Cervenka and Sean Pollard, and also, wideout, Diondre Overton:

They will obviously be looking to make an impression on all involved besides just as with what they did most recently in the semi-final win over Ohio State and the championship game with LSU.

An interesting attendee a practice one Tuesday was Jaguars coach Doug Marrone. And, he may be very well looking at offensive line help from this all-star game:

Marrone also is in the market for a new offensive coordinator after the Jaguars announced Monday to announce that they deleted John DeFilippo from his duties after just one season. With Marrone having fired Nate Hackett in the middle of the 2018 season, this will be the third straight year under his leadership that he will have a different offensive coordinator.

Marrrone maybe looking specifically at a player this week, like Michigan offensive tackle Jon Runyan to help bolster the line in front of running back Leonard Fournette.

Here was some video of Runyan, who’s a projected early round pick, going through a drill on Tuesday:

Also, Pewter Report tweeted about Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles being seen scouting talent (after all, it’s in his backyard) at the Tuesday practice.

Bowles’ defense played better in the second half of the season. And, their pass-rush included a record-setting year from free agent acquisition, Shaq Barrett, who broke the Tampa Bay single season sack record with 19 and a half.

Bowles is also there to help show support for his inside linebacker coach Mike Caldwell, who is coaching the East roster on Saturday for the game.

NFL Draft

Dolphins and Jaguars may be very interested in deep WR class

Florida Football Insiders

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never too soon to start talking about possible premium draft picks coming in April for the NFL’s 2020 draft. And, for the Dolphins and the Jaguars they may both very well be interested in what appears to be the deepest position this season.

NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has been touting the 20/20 receiving draft class for several weeks now. And, that included his appearance on the NFL Total Access show Thursday night:

“I started scouting with the Baltimore Ravens in 2003. This is bar none, the deepest, best wide receiver class that I’ve seen, since I began scouting.”

To be more specific, Jeremiah has laid out the six receivers that he has right now in his top 25 of overall players The 2020 draft to be held in Las Vegas at the end of April. Those include: Oklahoma Speedster CeeDee Lamb, Alabama stud Jerry Jeudy, maybe the fastest player in the entire draft tide receiver Henry Ruggs III, National Champion LSU lanky speedster Justin Jefferson, Arizona State physical, big receiver Brandon Aiyuk and Colorado junior eligible Laviska Shenault.

As Jeremiah makes clear, not all of these receivers may end up going in the first round and there are several other names besides on his list that are probably NFL caliber who will still be around in the third round or later and yet make an impact on Sundays.

And that brings us to both the Dolphins and the Jaguars who are likely in need, especially early I’ll try to get one of these Playmakers.

In 2019, the Dolphins saw DeVante Parker develop into the possible number one yearly receiver that they believed he would become when they took him in the first round in 2015. Miami also has high hopes for un-drafted big receiver Preston Williams who was showing promise until suffering a torn ACL in midseason last year. However, other than that, Miami doesn’t have much else to hang their hat on.

As for Jacksonville, clearly in 2019 former second round pick D.J. Chark demonstrated that he has potential to be a number one receiver year in and year out. He showed an early connection with backup rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, and Chark finished the season with 1,008 yards on 73 catches and 8 scores. Jacksonville also got good output from another guy with speed in Chris Conley.

But, from there the talent level drops off in North Florida.

So while there are plenty of factors and variables, like which receivers are when you are coming up for selection, there will apparently be no shortage of players to choose from that can make an impact on night three or even day three of the NFL Draft.

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NFL Draft

Prominent state names among NFL Combine invitees

Florida Football Insiders

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Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

A sign that the NFL Draft process is well underway is when the NFL publicizes their official list of players who will be attending the 2020 Scouting Combine at the end of the month.

And, the league made their invite list public Friday afternoon with large 337 draft prospect pool, including some recognizable names from the state:

Some of the most notable names include Heisman Trophy and National Championship winning LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, along with other potential number 1 draft picks at that position, Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Justin Herbert of Oregon. There was one state invitee at the QB position and that’s James Morgan, the FIU quarterback.

The running back position has Heisman finalist Jonathan Edwards and also, has several familiar names to state fans led by FSU leading rusher, Cam Akers.

Akers (photo above), who declared early for the 2020 draft giving up his final season of eligibility, is joined by Miami running back and receiving specialist DeeJay Dallas. Also invited was Florida under-sized power back LaMical Perine.

The wide receiver position is particularly deep with invitees by the NFL, and that includes the Gators trio of Tyrie Cleveland, Van Jefferson and Freddie Swain. Also, invited is outstanding UCF wide out Gabe Davis, who gave up his final year of eligibility in Orlando and will be at the combine.

Arguably the best tight end in the draft is Harrison Bryant of Florida Atlantic who led the position nationally in catches and yardage. Bryant could be a first round pick in late April. Also on the Combine list is USF tight end, Mitchell Wilcox.

On the defensive side of the ball is the leading pass-rushing sack artist from college football in 2019 in Chase Young of Ohio State. Miami’s Jonathan Garvin was another defensive lineman added to the mix. Next, Hurricanes linebackers Shaq Quarterman and teammate Michael Pinckney were among the linebacker invitees from Friday.

At defensive back, UCF’s Neville Clark is joined by Florida’s C.J. Henderson, FAU’s James Pierre and Florida State’s Stanford Samuels.

The combine is a five-day process allowing interviews for players with the 32 teams and then, individual position group workouts and 40 yard dash times that will take place at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.

The NFL Network still holds the exclusive rights to televise the workouts, which has now expanded to over 50 hours of coverage for that week

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