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Florida Football

NFL Draft Review: Seven Florida Gators drafted

April 25, 2020
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THREE-PART SERIES: FORMER FIVE-STARS WITH AN ASTERISK

Seven Florida football players were drafted over the weekend, tied for the fifth-most among college football programs. Florida also became one of only four schools that have had at least one player drafted every year in the common draft era.

(You may need to turn your phone horizontally to see the table)

Rd Pick Overall Pos Player Team
1 9 9 CB C.J. Henderson Jacksonville Jaguars
2 25 57 WR Van Jefferson LA Rams
3 15 79 DE Jabari Zuniga NY Jets
3 26 90 DE Jonathan Greenard Houston Texans
4 14 120 RB La’Mical Perine NY Jets
6 36 214 WR Freddie Swain Seattle Seahawks
7 38 252 WR Tyrie Cleveland Denver Broncos

C.J. HENDERSON

Inside the Gators
C.J. Henderson

CBS Sports: Grade: B+. I love him because he can cover. There are so many guys in the NFL that I talked to leading up to the draft that thought he was better than Okudah. 

NFL Network: Henderson is a polished cover CB with outstanding athleticism and movement skills. He flashes natural instincts, awareness and ball skills in coverage, and is efficient in man and zone coverage. Tackling was an issue but he is arguably the best cornerback in the class.

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VAN JEFFERSON

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Van Jefferson

CBS Sports: Grade: B-. Veteran-like releases against press and as a route runner. Good, not great size. Minimal YAC. Good idea for Rams to build out the receiver group for Jared Goff. 

NFL Network: Sean McVay loves polished route runners with rock-solid games. Jefferson is a pro-ready pass catcher with outstanding hands and ball skills. He should slide into the starting lineup as a WR3 in the Rams' three-receiver sets.

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JABARI ZUNIGA

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Jabari Zuniga

CBS Sports: Grade: C-. All the talent is there for Zuniga. Freaky burst. Good length. Just way behind in the pass-rush move department and doesn't move people. Jets needed more instant impact on the edge.

NFL Network: Zuniga is a quick-twitch athlete with pass rush skills. He battled through a high ankle sprain in 2019, but he has posted solid sack production (18.5) throughout his career as an edge defender.

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JONATHAN GREENARD

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Jonathan Greenard

CBS Sports: Grade: A. Greenard has a chiseled NFL body with first-round flashes. Bend, phenomenal hand work. Just inconsistent. Nice power and good motor. Texans needed a natural rusher.  

NFL Network: A productive edge defender with good instincts, Greenard bullies blockers at the point of attack and flashes some pop when thumping quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield. The former Louisville transfer/Florida standout finished his career with 19.0 sacks and 39.0 tackles for loss.

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LAMICAL PERINE

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Lamical Perine

CBS Sports: Grade: C. Perine does everything well, just really lacks a superb trait. Efficient cuts. Some flashes of awesome contact balance, but not consistent. Moments of long speed. Vision lacking slightly. Plus receiving skill. Adequate backup to Le'Veon Bell.

NFL Network: The Jets were in need of depth at running back behind workhorse Le'Veon Bell. Perine isn't a flashy runner, but he has a ton of the same traits that you see from consistent, productive NFL runners. Don't be surprised if he's one of the longer-lasting backs from this class when we look back years from now.

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FREDDIE SWAIN

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Freddie Swain

CBS Sports: Grade: C. Never was a major producer in college but intriguing late-round option because of his high-end athleticism and route-running ability. 

NFL Network: Swain will get camp reps in the slot, and he has good speed as a catch-and-run weapon. But his best shot at making a roster is as a returner on special teams.

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TYRIE CLEVELAND

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Tyrie Cleveland

CBS Sports: Grade: C-. Cleveland is another Florida product who tested well but it makes you wonder why he never dominated in college. Good size. Has run the full route tree. Some elusiveness after the catch. Loaded WR room.

NFL Network: Some of Cleveland's best highlights came on special teams. He is a tough, speedy receiver who has been highly inconsistent on offense, but his production as a gunner could be enough to sign him to the active list.

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