The Florida Gators now move into the post-Tebow era, something that could be a rough adjustment for the fans and the program. Even with that the team still has a tremendous amount of NFL talent, most of it on the offensive line.
Tackle Marcus Gilbert is highly regarded by NFL scouts and it’s understandable why this is so. Big and very athletic, Gilbert is a right side player we think offers the footwork, agility and movement skills to be considered for the blind side. Gilbert makes good use of blocking angles, jolts defenders with terrific hand punch and controls opponents once engaged at the point. He displays the ability to adjust blocking in motion and can hit a moving target. Explosive at the point, Gilbert does a solid job bending his knees and blocks with a wide base. He needs to improve his run blocking yet the arrow is pointing north for the senior.
Michael Pouncey is not as skilled as his brother, selected in the first round last April, yet is still a solid NFL prospect. Pouncey bends his knees, blocks with leverage and really attacks assignments. Playing with a nasty attitude, he displays power as a run blocker with the ability to move defenders off the line. He’s not nearly as effective in motion as his brother yet is highly considered. Pouncey moves to center this season after playing right guard last year. A successful transition will only enhance his draft ranking.
Carl Johnson is a massive lineman that occasionally lines up at left tackle but does not have the agility or footwork to protect the edge. He moves well in a small area, keeps his feet moving throughout the action and keeps his head on a swivel. Johnson will dominate opponents and easily controls them once engaged at the point of attack.
Maurice Hurt is the fourth offensive line prospect we are watching. The senior explodes off the snap into blocks, is strong at the point and controls opponents once engaged in a block. Quick if asked to kick out, he blocks with good knee bend and pad level. Hurt gets movement run blocking and is effective in a small area.
Janoris Jenkins is the next top rated secondary player from the UF program and the junior is our top prospect on defense. Jenkins engages receivers at the line of scrimmage, plays with a good degree of quickness and has an aggressive nature. He has an explosive burst to the ball out of his plant, works hard to defend passes and has a large upside.
Jaye Howard is another solid prospect from the junior ranks. Howard lined up at both defensive end and tackle last season. He displays a fluid change of direction, collapses down the line of scrimmage and works his hands throughout the action. He’s easily knocked from his angle of attack by a single blocker and is controlled at the point. Howard is another whose best football lay ahead of him.
Senior safety Ahmad Black seriously considered entering last April’s draft but made the right choice and returned for his final season. Black flashes cover skills between the numbers, has a nice move to the throw as well as a straight-line burst. He’s a physical safety that voluntarily defends the run and wraps up tackling. We question Black’s instincts in coverage as he’s late arriving on the scene. His lack of size (5’-9.5’’ and 185lbs) also presents limitations.