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Florida Gators NFL Draft Preview

April 27, 2021
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NFL Draft Analyst Ryan Roberts, of the NFL Draft Bible, shares his thoughts on what the Gator Nation should expect during the NFL Draft this coming weekend during this Q&A session.

Looking back to Florida's Pro Day up until now, players start trending upward and downward to a degree. Which Florida players do you believe helped and hurt themselves the most according to the buzz from the last month?

I’m not sure helped is the appropriate term but Kyle Pitt's pro-day performance reaffirmed him as a blue-chipper. Kadarius Toney's buzz has started to reappear after hitting a lull following the Senior Bowl, enough to potentially hear his name named called on day one. Stone Forsythe has slowly been gaining buzz throughout the process. The nice showing athletically now has a lot of teams intrigued by his physical profile. Perhaps the biggest "winner" would have to be Marco Wilson. His film leaves a lot to be desired and his lasting image is the shoe incident. Testing the way he did will at worst make him draftable. Testing to that degree could make him drafted higher than people anticipate.

Pitts is going to go early, it's just a matter of how early. Is a tight end going 4-8 area too early for that position? Is there a lack of positional value going that high, or does Pitts go against conventional wisdom when it comes to the position?

Drafting a tight end in round one can look like a luxury to some. For a player like Kyle Pitts, who can line up anywhere on the field and affect the game in so many ways, it throws that preconceived notion out the window. Without positional value put into the conversation, Pitts is one of the three best players in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Looking at the Florida players generally considered to be drafted this year, considering where they are being projected, who is the safest pick, and who is the riskiest?

Although it's hard to call a potential top 5-10 pick 'safe", it has to be Kyle Pitts for me. It is tough to envision him not being successful in a variety of roles. He is a walking mismatch. As far as risk, Kadarius Toney is an interesting conversation. He is a top two-round athlete without a doubt. The difficult part is the "one-year wonder" label and his durability concerns throughout his career. That makes it a bit of a gamble potentially inside of the first 32 selections.

Not your own evaluation, but what you see from others out there, which Florida draft prospect is being overrated and who is being slept on and should in your opinion be higher on draft boards.

Stone Forsythe seems a bit overrated at this point. Does he have developmental potential? Absolutely. It is just very difficult to get on board where some are projecting him. He had a nice season in 2020 but he also fits the one-year wonder label. There are also some flexibility and leverage issues that are a little unsettling. Tedarrell Slaton has received almost no buzz this draft cycle but he is a ready-made early down-run defender who also tested better than anticipated. He looks destined to outperform his draft slot.

Heading into Thursday, there are generally seven Florida prospects who are universally considered as being taken in the seven-round draft, what are your final thoughts on each and a projection of the round in which you believe they should/could be taken?

Kyle Trask: The NFL likes him and quarterbacks always rise. I don't buy the first-round conversation, but I'd be surprised if he wasn't selected somewhere in round two.

  • Projection: Round Two.

Trevon Grimes: Grimes is the type of big-bodied pass catcher who latches onto a roster spot for a long time. Physicality and dependability are his main strengths. Then he tests out of the world and makes you rethink his upside.

  • Projection: Round Four.

Kyle Pitts: Top three player in the class and best overall pass catcher. He's a lock to go inside the top 10.

  • Projection: Round One.

Kadarius Toney: Dynamic slot weapon who can affect the game in so many ways. Late breakout as a wide receiver with upside. Could find his way into the first round.

  • Projection: Late First-early Second.

Stone Forsythe: Has a nice combination of size and athleticism. One year wonder who might go higher than people anticipate. Has some leverage and flexibility issues.

  • Projection: Round Two.

Tedarrell Slaton: Early down run defender with limited impact against the pass. Odd front teams will love him... not much upside.

  • Projection: Round Six.

Marco Wilson: Much more athlete than a football player right now. Will have people enamored with developmental possibilities but still a heavy question mark. Never put it together.

  • Projection: Round Five.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the remaining seniors: Brett Heggie, Kyree Campbell, Shawn Davis, Brad Stewart, and Donovan Stiner?

Brett Heggie is that quintessential tough guy at center who will never be mistaken for physically gifted but gets the job done. Has enough physicality and grit to stick. He could be a round 5-7 depth pick. I had high hopes for Kyree Campbell. Though he was a decent athlete with upside on film. Of course, he dealt with injury in 2020, and then he tested really poorly at his pro-day. He will have a tough time getting drafted. Shawn Davis is tough, experienced, and scrappy. Not a dynamic player but has enough to stick. He has special teams upside. Brad Stewart is pretty underwhelming. Nothing really stands out and performance is very up and down. He's likely a UDFA. Donovan Stiner has a nice level of talent and some interesting flashes of ball skills. He just never seemed to put it all together. Some developmental potential. Could be a late-round flier. Evan McPherson is in the running as the first specialist selected. He could hear his name called somewhere between rounds 4-7.

Florida Gators NFL Draft Preview

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