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Florida Gators Prospect Review

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Now that the season is officially over, I figured I'd put together a list for the board on the prospects from my Alma Mater.  I get asked a lot about Gators players during the course of the draft process, so I figured I'd put something together to reference as we start to really break down a crucial draft for the New York Jets. 

CB - 6'1 202 - CJ Henderson - just about everyone has CJ Henderson going in the 1st round and I just dont see it.  CJ was 4 star recruit out of Miami.  He jumped onto the scene his freshman year getting 2 picks six's in his first 2 games, since then, he's had 4 INT's over in the last 25 games.  This year, he had zero.  So not a ball hawking type corner but more so known for his ability to stick to WR's.  He's a solid press man corner who has great footwork, very fluid and does a good job of getting his hands on the ball (10 pd's this season).  That said, he's not physical at all.  He's not a willing tackler and can get abused in the open field.  Like all corners, he can be beat but it's more so his willingness to play physical that is a concerning at the next level.  I'm seeing 1st round projections on him and I dont see it.  late 2nd/3rd RD.

DL/LB - 6'4 246 - Jabari Zuniga - highly dependent on how he tests but Zuniga is interesting, supposedly he would have tested at 7.03 in the 3 cone drill (faster than JN favorites, Bosa, Allen, Oliver), so there is some potential freak in there.  While he struggled to stay healthy his entire career, when he was healthy, he was a handful.  You could see a dramatic difference in the Gators D and Line play without Zuniga in the line-up. He doesnt have a blazing first step but he's has quick feet and some suddenness to him.  He's a strong, fluid athlete and can use his hands well.  Right now, his strength is his best attribute helping me makes plays behind the LOS.  I dont think Zuniga was ever able to reach his full potential in college and could be a next level player if he's the athlete I think he is but the injuries are a concern.  Depending on his testing, I could see Zuniga shooting up the board but his injury may scare teams off.   3rd RD

DL/LB - 6'4 263 - Jonathan Greenard - if you watched the Gators and he was healthy, he was impossible to miss.  The transfer from Louisville wanted to finish his career with the guy who recruited him, Todd Grantham. And Todd took advantage of his versatility.  Greenard can line up at multiple positions and both play the run and pressure the QB.  He led the Gators with 10 sacks, 16 TFL and added 53 total tackles.  He was a beast.  That said, similar to Jachai Polite, I'm just not sure he's the athlete necessary to be a dominant pass rusher at the next level.  Unlike Jachai, I think there is a place for Greenard in the league because of his versatility and hard work.  He's got a nonstop motor and is a gritty player.  3rd/4th RD.

WR - 6'2 195 - Van Jefferson - the son of Jets WR coach, Shawn Jefferson, was another transfer Mullen and co. were able to bring to Gainesville.  Jefferson started his career at Ole Miss and was 2nd in receiving his redshirt freshman year behind Evan Engram and then again behind AJ Brown.  Van was not the athlete of Brown and Metcalf and knew he wasnt going to see a ton of volume.  The Gators were the beneficiaries.  You can tell Van is the son of a former NFL WR turned coach because Van knows all the nuances of the position.  He's a polished route runner with great breaks and release.  Great hads, fights for every ball. He knows how to read the d, set up defenders, bend, sink, change of direction and use his body to shield.  Because of Mullen's offense had so many weapons, Van didnt see a huge volume but he was the go to WR for the Gators when they needed a play.  His best game was vs. LSU where he scored twice and caught 8 balls for 78 yards but he also had a nice Orange Bowl as well, 6 for 129.  Van isnt going to wow you athletically and isnt a huge guy and he's also already 24 but I could see him being very successful in the slot in the NFL with his just professional knowledge of the position.  I like Van as a day 3 steal and curious to see if Shawn's presence has any influence on the Jets.  I do think Van fits Gase's system well in that he's a precise route runner on short-intermediate routes.  

RB - 5'11 220 - Lamical Perine - 4 years with the team, Perine was a consummate professional at the collegiate level.  Perine delivered some big plays in some big moments for the Gators, specifically an 88 yard run vs. Auburn to put a nail in the coffin this year. Perine suffered through the worst offensive years of the Gators under McElwain but really became an integral part of the Mullen offense the last 2 years.  He was the 3rd leading receiver on the team this year but mostly out of necessity.  Watching Perine was like watching Bell this year.  The OL was completely inept in the run game.  Mullen was almost going straight Leach style out there because the Gators were so terrible at running the Football.  He's got great hands, can make you miss, pick up blocks, doesnt have elite speed but fast enough.  Fights for every yard.  The Gators OL figured out how to block in the Orange Bowl and Perine was looking like a 3 down back made for the NFL.   He went 13-138-2 and 5-43-1 in the Orange Bowl.  Could be a solid day 3 sleeper in a RBBC scenario. 

P - Tommy Townsend - not sure if he gets drafted but he'll be a punter in the NFL.

WR - Josh Hammond/Freddie Swain - both 7th RD's to UDFA 

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