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Florida Gators NFL Combine Preview

February 27, 2020
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With the help of NFL Draft Bible draft analyst Ryan Roberts Inside the Gators takes a closer look at what the eight former Florida football players need to do at the NFL Combine and where they project to be taken in the draft prior to the Combine.

  • Receiver Tyrie Cleveland

He’s a guy who has always had flashes but has never demanded a high volume. Really gifted player coming out of high schoolwith some notable testing numbers. For him, putting together a nice workout can make him standout from a developmental perspective. Seeing those tools will make him attractive. As for draft position, it’s hard to slot him any higher than a late day three flier right now.

  • Defensive End Jonathan Greenard

Now he’s a really intriguing guy. I really enjoyed his film. He has some real nice flashes of nuance and advanced hand usage. Seems to hit the thresholds physically in a lot of areas. I want to see what type of athlete he is. Whether he can translate to various schemes-roles. That’s the missing piece to his story. At worst, there is a place for him as a situational piece. I’m a fan. I would imagine he hears his name called somewhere on day two.

  • Cornerback CJ Henderson

He has more than his fair share of fans, and rightfully so. He has every tool to be a high level cover man in a team that implements a heavy man scheme. His recovery speed and ability to stay in phase are exceptional. I have a lot of doubt with his physicality. His passiveness in the run game has been well documented but it shows up in coverage as well. He is a mess at the line of scrimmage and can get grabby at the catch point. I’m worried that size-physicality may cause him some problems. A team will still take a shot on him probably somewhere in the first round, especially with his physical profile. He is about to light up Indianapolis.

  • Receiver Van Jefferson

Van is everything you would expect from a son whose father played in the NFL. He is a technician as a route runner. He is able to mix various release points and techniques. There is a clear understanding of leverage and how to attack it. Then of course he has a very solid pair of hands. I don’t expect a dynamic workout in Indianapolis but it also doesn’t really matter. He is going to continue to check boxes. I imagine he is selected somewhere in the second to third round. He is a high floor prospect who should contribute early on in his career without much problem.

Note: This was written before it became known on Thursday that Jefferson will miss 6-8 weeks with an injury

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  • Running Back Lamical Perine

Like Van, there is a safeness to Perine. There is nothing flashy about him but he is a consistent performer who seems to do everything well. The big question is to whether he is dynamic in any area. A nice combine performance would be able to answer a few of those questions. Aside from testing well from an athletic perspective, we all want to see him in run routes. How natural he is as a pass receiver could be huge. That can be the different between being an occasional change of pace option and a player who can contribute on multiple downs. The more athlete he projects, the larger the variety of role. As of now, I’d slot him somewhere early to mid day three.

  • Receiver Freddie Swain

Swain is another guy who flashes occasionally but there has been relatively no buzz about him over the course of draft season. His contributions on special teams are big. For a specialized role as a special teamer and potential big play option, testing is going to go a long way for him. As it stands, I’d be surprised if he is drafted when April comes around. A big week in Indy, however, could change that.

  • Punter Tommy Townsend

Punters are tough to get a feel for. Obviously Tommy has his pedigree working for him but it’s so tough to project. I’d be shocked if he was drafted but I’d anticipate him getting a long look after the draft. The Combine will get him in front of scouts but I’d be lying if I said it serves a huge opportunity to specialists.

  • Defensive End Jabari Zuniga

 Jabari Zuniga just might be most frustrating prospect coming out of Florida this season. The tools seem to be all there. He is a long edge rusher who has some notable burst and flexibility around the track. For whatever reason he disappears for stretches. His first step is pretty inconsistent. The Combine is going to provide a huge opportunity for him. If he tests as a below average athlete, then the upside sell begins to shrink. If he tests the way I anticipate, NFL position coaches will begin salivating over the possibilities. He’s a wildcard who could go anywhere between rounds 2-6. The Combine might be bigger for him than any Gator prospect this draft season.

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Florida Gators NFL Combine Preview

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