Florida Gators Top NFL Draft Prospects for 2013 and Beyond

September 1, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd (73) reacts after he makes a tackle during the first quarter against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

73 Sharrif Floyd, Defensive Tackle, Junior  6’3″ 303 pounds

Big, powerful defensive tackle prospect who entered college football with a bang back in 2010, earning a spot on the All-SEC Freshman team. Floyd is a versatile lineman who is not a great pass rusher but certainly knows how to occupy blockers and make plays in the backfield. He has played both defensive tackle as well as on the outside at end, and has been very productive for the Gators, living up to his hype as an All-American prep. So far as a junior, Floyd is lighting it up once again. He is making plays in the backfield and proving that his freshman year was not a fluke. What Floyd does so well is use his hands and quickness off the ball to beat offensive linemen. There is no guarantee that he will be coming out after his junior season, but if you see his name entered into the 2013 crop of players, it’s likely he’ll be a high selection.


23 Mike Gillislee, Running Back, Senior  5’11” 209 pounds

Gillislee is a markedly improved player as a Senior, but where I see the most improvement is in pass protection. Against Texas A&M, he had some pancake blocks and showed he can be a three down back. After having just 10 touchdown runs in his first three seasons as a Gator, Gillislee has come out in 2012 and put up some big numbers, including an average of just under six yards per carry and five touchdowns through the first four games of the season. Gillislee does a good job of reading the play and using his vision, cutting upfield quickly. Not a burner, but definitely has some speed to the outside and runs tough on the inside. Not going to be a flashy pick, but has a chance to stick as a later round pick in the NFL.


22 Matt Elam, Safety, Junior  5’10” 202 pounds

Elam is one of the top young safeties in college football. He has solid size on the back end, and is a very good tackler in addition to being a playmaker on the ball. As a sophomore last season he had 78 tackles and 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He also added seven broken up passes, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. He’s created a large set of expectations that he has to live up to, and so far, he’s living up to them. As a high school player, Elam was an All-American and the top safety prospect in the country. He does a really good job of working in the box as well as reading the quarterback’s eyes from centerfield. When he decides to leave school for the NFL, whether this year or next, he should be one of the better overall safety prospects available.


3 Jelani Jenkins, Outside Linebacker, Junior  6’0″ 230 pounds

Jenkins has had some injury issues in 2012, likely keeping him in school for his senior season, but he is a very solid outside linebacker prospect who has an attacking mentality with great athleticism. As a sophomore, Jenkins had 75 tackles, six tackles for loss, and two sacks along with an interception returned for a touchdown. Loves to attack downhill, and can get pressure on the quarterback when he’s called upon. Another high school All-American, Jenkins has the ability to grow into one of the top outside linebackers in his class, and though he is undersized and susceptible to being swallowed at the line of scrimmage, his aggressive style of play is going to get a lot of notice from NFL scouts and make Jenkins an eventual starter at WLB in the NFL.


1 Jon Bostic, Linebacker, Senior  6’1″ 246 pound

Big linebacker prospect who led the team in tackles with 94 a year ago, and has 169 career tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, five passes broken up, three interceptions, and a forced fumble. Bostic is certainly capable of racking up tackles, and one area where I want to see him continue to improve as a senior player is working downhill and being more aggressive in the running game. Bostic has four tackles for loss through four games, so I think he’s improving in that area. When you watch him play, he often struggles with fighting off blocks but I think that’s an area he’s getting better. He’s not an overly exciting linebacker prospect, but he certainly has a good set of skills, good enough to get him on an NFL roster if he works hard enough.


72 Jonotthan Harrison, Center, Junior  6’4″ 300 pounds

Powerful offensive lineman who is just starting to come into his own as a prospect. Became the starting center a year ago after seeing spot duty and starting at left guard as a redshirt freshman. He can play a couple of interior line positions, which will be attractive to NFL scouts, but he needs more refinement. I don’t expect the junior to declare in 2013, but if he does, it means he received very good word from the NFL Draft committee. He’s got ideal overall size for his position, and great coaching at Florida can help him become one of the highest drafted players at his position whenever he comes out.


73 Xavier Nixon, Offensive Tackle, Senior  6’6″ 314 pounds

Nixon was one of the top offensive linemen in the country as a freshman in 2009, but it’s been a steady decline for his career since then. He hasn’t established himself as a dominant offensive tackle in the SEC, though he has the talent to be. He might be sliding down draft boards, but I think he is one of those guys who could potentially be a better professional than he has been a college player to this point. He’s got a good frame and with good coaching could be a real gem in the draft.