Florida Football: Buy, Sell, Hold on Defense

Jul 11, 2021 | 0 comments


Today Inside the Gators takes a closer look at Florida Football players on the offensive side of the ball by sharing what we would do if each were a stock to be bought, sold, or held. The criteria mostly being where they stand with less than a month remaining before the start of fall camp.

To be perfectly clear, a sell order doesn’t always mean we believe the player, coach, or position will start trending downward, just as a buy order doesn’t mean they will begin trending upward.

This market, just like the stock market, can be volatile and this is all just a snapshot in time.

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This was one of the hardest categories to pick because there were several young defensive ends who deserved a Buy Order. However, perhaps none of them have the upside of Princely Umanmielen. One of the more peculiar things that happened during a forgettable 2020 season was the lack of snaps he received. That isn’t to say that he deserved to start, but with his unrivaled explosiveness, you would think that he would have been utilized more on long-distance situations. At the very least that should happen this season. 

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You hate to give up on someone due to injury history rather than it being a lack of talent, but in three years on campus, David Reese has played in a total of seven games. As much as anyone on the team, he looks the part, and has flashed early on during some of the open practices when he first arrived, but he hasn't been able to stay on the field and until that actually happens, it’s difficult to project his place in the rotation.

""Though he is actually bulkier than some of the other defensive ends, Andrew Chatfield’s size limitations will likely dictate that he will be mostly utilized as a situational pass-rusher – where he has shown a knack for getting to the quarterback. However, the issue is, if everyone is healthy, where does he stand on the depth chart as far as being an every-down type of player? Because of his build, he isn't a top choice to be on the field against the run.

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The former five-star didn’t fill up the stat sheet like some may have expected him to do as a freshman, but even being on the field, much less him holding his own at the point of attack against SEC offensive linemen as a true freshman was an accomplishment for Gervon Dexter. He has lost some of his pudginess while gaining weight and muscle since last season. Watch what happens here. I feel confident in saying that he is about to take off.

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We’ve heard great things about him in a couple of our Anonymous Player Q&A sessions – but I believe Lamar Goods might be the only defensive tackle I haven't seen in person this offseason. That of course doesn’t mean the coaches haven’t seen him or it will negatively impact his spot on the depth chart, but this entire feature is focused on what I would do if the player was a stock, and I’m not buying something sight unseen. 

""I was tempted to go with sophomore Jaelin Humphries here. After injuries helped to limit him to just two games in his first two years, I’ve seen him a couple of times, and he looks good this summer. He's healthy and is in very good shape. However, since his time is limited, I’m going to go with transfer Daquan Newkirk. He has the tools to be an upper-level SEC defensive lineman who is equally adept at rushing the passer and playing the run, but he hasn’t had that standout season yet. We’ll see if David Turner can get it out of him.

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""After flashing as an undersized freshman defensive end, my first thought after seeing that the staff was moving Mohamoud Diabate to linebacker was, ‘What in the hell are they doing?’ Which is why I’m writing this while Todd Grantham is out coaching. They obviously saw something and knew what they were doing because despite only starting half of the season, Diabate was a difference-maker on defense. His play should only improve as he learns the nuances of the position.
""It’s hard to believe that Amari Burney is a senior already. While there are players who seem like they have been on the team for forever and a day, time has flown by when it comes to Burney. Part of that is that he has moved around so much, he hasn't had a chance to become ‘old hat’ at a single position. He is incredibly athletic for his size, but he's been a man without a position to this point and now with the young talent at linebacker, you have to wonder how he will be impacted?
""It was tempting to put in a Buy Order for Ty’Ron Hopper, but then again, I would have done that last year too, and been a bit disappointed. No linebacker on the team has his upside, and now we’ve been told he has added the size required to stand up to SEC play. After arriving at UF barely weighing 200-pounds, his father told ITG that Hopper is up to 230-pounds this offseason. While he should see increased time this coming season, it may take another year for his full impact to be felt.

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""Not listing him here isn't a slight to Kaiir Elam, but you don't put in a Buy Order when a stock is already this high. Yes, it is a safe bet and will likely continue to rise some, but there’s not as much room for growth as when you buy something near its bottom and its projection points upward. That perfectly describes incoming freshman Jordan Young, who we have heard nothing but positives about over the spring.
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By already adding Jason Marshall, Jordan Young, and Jadarrius Perkins and being in line to add Elijah Blades – that means that a cornerback who was already slated to see plenty of action, now won't see quite as much. No addition is going to cost Elam any of his snaps, which likely means that Jaydon Hill will be the player most impacted. Hill had a solid 2020 outing, but he may not see as much action this time around,

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Yes, I realize college football has become pass-happy and there’s no such thing as having too many cover corners, but it’s still a bit surprising to see Florida make a play for Elijah Blades. While he has shown the ability to be capable in coverage, he left Texas A&M with shoulder issues and won’t be with the team now until fall camp at the earliest. As a grad-transfer he doesn’t negatively impact UF’s numbers, but being such a short-timer, do the positives negative the negative impact he could have on the development of younger, perhaps more talented, players?

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After being miscast as a cornerback to begin his Florida career, we got a taste of what Trey Dean could do last year in what – judging by his production when actually playing – was probably too limited of a snap count. That should change this season. It wouldn't be surprising to see him make a Chauncey Gardner-Johnson type of leap as a senior.

""Fenley Graham has the build to be a physical type of defender, and I have seen him muscle receivers on the high school level, but in today's pass-happy college game coming in at 5-foot-8 (and that might be a little generous), he is simply at a marked disadvantage against what has increasingly become taller and taller college receivers. 
""The overall ability may be there, but seeing him working Florida's June camp sessions, Corey Collier Jr. is going to be a ways away from having enough size to stand up physically to SEC-level play. It will be interesting to see what Nick Savage and team can do with him over the next year, but make no mistake about it, it will take at least a year before he is game day ready. He is simply one of the most slightly built Florida players I have ever seen.
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