Potential Day 1 Prospects
Potential Day 2 Prospects
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, DB, Jr.
Gardner-Johnson has experience at cornerback and safety. He is a rare blend of size and speed. He’ll be counted on to be the leader of the defense from the team’s STAR position (nickel) this season as he will be responsible for getting the defensive calls to his teammates. If he handles the new role well, he will jump into the 1st round conversation.
Martez Ivey, OT, Sr.
Ivey is going to test well at the combine. As long as no medical flags pop up with him, he’ll be a riser after the season. While he hasn’t quite lived up to his high school hype, NFL OL coaches are going to be banging the table for this guy. If he has a good season, I could see a 1st round selection. If his stock stays as it is now, I’d project him in the 2nd round with a fall out of the top 100 being close to impossible.
Jawaan Taylor, RT, Jr.
Taylor projects as a 2nd round starter at right tackle. I don’t think he’s agile enough to be a starter on the left side, but that’s not what he is anyway. Someone is going to draft Taylor on Day 2 and plug him into the starting lineup as a road grader on the strong side.
David Reese, ILB, Jr.
Can Reese take another step forward in 2018? If so, I don’t see any reason he can’t find his way into Day 2 of the NFL draft. He has pro size and he looks athletic enough to play on three downs. Reese made a lot of plays in the opponent’s backfield last season. If he shows he can hold up in coverage, he’ll be a top 100 choice.
Potential Day 3 Prospects
Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Jr.
Cleveland is very athletic and that part of his profile has transferred to the field in the form of an average YPC of nearly 20 yards as an underclassman. He also has impressive size at 6’2, 210 lbs. If Cleveland can take a step forward on the field throughout the next season or two, he will get himself into the Day 2 conversation. He will almost certainly impress scouts once he gets to the combine and his pro day. I thought about including him at the back end of Florida’s Day 2 prospects, but I’ll call him an upside 4th rounder who is still raw for now.
Jachai Polite, Edge, Jr.
Polite is a very similar prospect to CeCe Jefferson. Both are a bit undersized and may not be highly coveted by many teams that run a lot of base 4-3. On the other hand, both have obvious talent and the potential to play in the NFL for a long time. I rate Polite just slightly ahead of Jefferson because he’s bigger. I’d put his current stock in the late 3rd-5th round.
CeCe Jefferson, 3-4 OLB, Sr.
Jefferson is your typical quality college player who lacks versatility for the next level. Jefferson is short (6’1) so he is probably going to be limited to 3-4 rush linebacker or potentially 4-3 SAM. I keep using Okoronkwo as my comparison for these types of players just because he is the most recent example. Jefferson could sneak into the 3rd round but early Day 3 is more likely.
Jordan Scarlett, RB, Jr.
Scarlett is a very talented runner. However, he will need to answer questions about the incident that got him suspended for the entire 2017 season and he’ll need to be more productive in the passing game to have a shot at Day 2. For now, I think those question marks push him to the 4th or 5th round.
Van Jefferson, WR, Jr.
Jefferson has good size and he’s a decent route runner. He isn’t going to be anything special at the next level, but he has the ability to develop into a passable starter or quality reserve. I think he is a strong 5th round selection.
Jabari Zuniga, Edge, Jr.
Zuniga is bigger than Jefferson so he can play in multiple schemes. Right now, he looks like a situational pass rusher at the next level. In order to get himself drafted higher than the 5th or 6th round, he’ll need to take another step forward rushing the QB before he leaves Florida or improve his play against the run. He has time to develop in those areas, but I can’t rate him higher than mid-Day 3 until it happens.
Tommy Townsend, P, Jr.
I’ll bet you could’ve guessed that Tommy is Johnny Townsend’s brother. The book is still unwritten for the younger brother, but he was a highly rated recruit and the pedigree is obviously there after his older brother was drafted in the 5th round by Oakland. Townsend could rate as a draftable prospect. For now, let’s see how he kicks.
Fredrick Johnson, OG, Sr.
Johnson has an outside chance of being drafted late, but his best chance of making it to the NFL will probably include making a team as an undrafted free agent who could back up at right guard and right tackle.
Marco Wilson, CB, So.
Wilson looked like a future high 1st round selection as a freshman. He defended 10 passes and begins the 2018 campaign with true star potential.
C.J. Henderson, CB, So.
Henderson created more turnovers than Wilson last season. These two are going to be a special pair tande for the next two years. They both look like future 1st round selections.
Malik Davis, RB, So.
I’m not sure how much we will see Davis this season after he hurt his knee last season. He certainly exceeded expectations and averaged almost 7 yards per carry. It’ll be fun to see if he can build on that when he resumes his role as the team’s top runner (likely not until after this season).
Evan McPherson, K, Fr.
McPherson is a big recruit known for having a strong leg. He kicked a 60-yarder in high school. If he follows along on his current trajectory, he could be a rare Day 2 kicker.
Kadarius Toney, WR, So.
Toney contributed a bit as a true freshman last season and should now step into the starting lineup as a sophomore. He may be the team’s best draft prospect at the position, but he won’t be eligible until 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do in a healthy season as a full time starter.