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.
Rich Brooks rides into retirement after a very successful stint at UK where he brought the program back to prominence. His departure is timely as the Wildcats roster is thin on talent after offering a number of solid NFL prospects the past few seasons.
Junior Randall Cobb is a solid possession receiver that does a good job coming back to the ball out of breaks, extending his hands and making the reception away from his frame. Quick releasing off the line, he immediately gets to top speed and shows sharpness running routes. Cobb lacks the deep speed and really cannot run to long throw yet is a solid underneath receiver.
Derrick Locke is a slippery ball carrier with a versatile game. Elusive, Locke displays the ability to consistently create yardage and is a terrific receiver out of the backfield besides giving effort blocking. He also impacts the game as a return specialist. Locke runs with an aggressive attitude and puts his shoulders into opponents but has limited size and will be a role player in the NFL.
Randall Burden is a nice sized cornerback that fights hard throughout the action to defend the pass. Physical, he uses his frame to get inside positioning and is quick up the field to defend the run or screen passes.
Discuss the top NFL prospects from the SEC in our forum!
After a draft class featuring five of the top six athletes selected from this particular conference, talent depravity is sure to set in…or will it?
Listen as Host Brent Sobleski and TFY Founder Tony Pauline continue their preseason “Conference Calls” breaking down the top prospects from each team one last time before the Big 12 no longer exists in its current incarnation.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Our next show will feature special guest co-host, ADAM CAPLAN, of Sirius Radio and Foxsports.com fame. Make sure to pass along any and all questions pertaining to NFL rookies you may have for Adam via the podcast’s email address!
If any other lingering questions and comments are also present, they can be also directed to firstname.lastname@example.org as we continue the conference calls as the summer months wind down.
As per usual…join the conversation in the site’s FORUMS.
And make sure to listen to all previous incarnations of the podcast to keep updated on talent originating from the Big East, MAC, Big Ten, ACC, and the SEC.