Jon Bostic: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Florida LB

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystApril 26, 2013

Jon Bostic: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Florida LB

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    The Florida Gators returned to national prominence in 2012, riding a stout defense to a share of the SEC East title and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl.

    Many of the players from that defense are now preparing to enter the NFL draft, and while defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and safety Matt Elam may headline the group, inside linebacker Jonathan Bostic is a talented player in his own right. 

    So, as Bostic prepares to settle in and wait for the phone call that will change his life, here's a look at everything you need to know about the hard-hitting defender.

Background

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    Hometown: Wellington, Florida

    High School: Palm Beach Central (Wellington, Florida)

    Major: Health Education

    Year: Senior

    Jonathan Bostic was a highly touted recruit coming out of Palm Beach Central High School in 2008, ranking fourth at his position according to Rivals.com, and ranking well within the top 100 players overall in the nation.

    That high ranking led to any number of scholarship offers, and Bostic finally chose the Gators after being recruited by Miami, LSU, Florida State and Clemson, according to Gator Zone.

Statistics

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    Bostic didn't see the field much as a freshman, playing mostly on special teams, but during his sophomore season, Bostic began to carve out a larger role on defense.

    Bostic played in all 13 games in 2010, making six starts and tallying 57 total tackles, and by the time the 2011 season rolled around, Bostic was a full-time fixture in the middle of the Gators' defense.

    That junior season was Bostic's most productive, with the 6'1", 245-pounder logging a team-leading 94 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble.

    That production tailed off a bit in 2012. Bostic ranked third on the Gators with 67 stops in 2012, but his performance in his last year in Gainesville was good enough to merit Bostic second-team All-SEC honors.

    Year

    Games

    Tackles

    TFL

    Sacks

    INT

    FF

    2009

    12

    18

    0

    0

    0

    0

    2010

    13

    57

    2.5

    1.5

    3

    0

    2011

    13

    94

    10

    3

    0

    1

    2012

    13

    67

    6.5

    3

    2

    1

Draft Process

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    Measurables

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 245 pounds

    Arm Length: 33"

    Hand Size: 9.625"

     

    Combine Results

    40-Yard Dash: 4.61 seconds

    Bench Press: 22 reps

    Vertical Jump: 32.5"

    Broad Jump: 9'10"

    Three-Cone Drill: 6.99 seconds

    20-Yard Shuttle: 4.24 seconds

     

    Pro Day Results

    40-Yard Dash: 4.50 seconds

     

    After an excellent combine in which Jonathan Bostic was one of the top performers at his position in several drills, there wasn't much left to prove.

    However, Bostic took to the track in Gainesville and shaved a tenth of a second off an already better-than-expected 40 time, demonstrating that he may be more athletic than he was originally given credit for.

     

    Combine results courtesy of NFL.com.

    Pro day results courtesy of ESPN 900 Radio.

Interesting Facts

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    Bostic was also a running back in high school, carrying the ball 75 times for 468 yards in 2008, a season that ended with Bostic taking part in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

    It didn't take long for Bostic to open eyes at Florida, as he tallied a team-leading seven tackles in his collegiate debut against Charleston Southern in 2009.

    On October 8, 2011 Bostic racked up a career-high 13 total tackles in a loss to top-ranked LSU.

    In a November interview with Gator Zone, Bostic credits his father, who played defensive back for three seasons in the NFL, as his greatest inspiration and role model.

    He’s the guy I’ve looked up to pretty much my whole life. I can’t even explain how much I look up to him, but it’s pretty much in every way – on the field, off the field. The things he’s done: graduated from college, getting his doctorate degree in pharmacy and everything - that’s something I’ve always looked up to.

Observations

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    Here's a look at what some draft experts have had to say about Bostic leading up to the draft.

    Per Bostic's NFL.com profile:

    Bostic is an absolute hammer in the middle of the Gators defense, especially against the run. He fights to take out blockers and to accomplish his assignment, but when he attacks with his shoulder Bostic fails to make a play on the football.. Even though he’s not as tall as some coaches would like, his production (he led the Gators with 94 tackles as a junior), onfield attitude and instincts for the ball make him a potential mid-round pick and gives him a chance to eventually earn a starting job at the next level.

    From Bleacher Report's Sigmund Bloom:

    Bostic seems to fit best in a 3-4 defense as a two-down ILB where his limited range won't hurt his team. He can fit at MLB in a 4-3, but it's not his optimal role in a pass-happy league. He'll be an instant contributor on special teams and a great addition to any team's culture. His instincts and toughness give him a chance to be more, but he'll have to overcome a lack of a great tools.

    National Football Post's Russ Lande had this to say about Bostic's abilities:

    Bostic is a guy who possesses the athleticism, quickness and reaction to become a contributor in the NFL, although I do not see him as a starting LB. He gets moving at the snap quickly, has patience and reacts well to the play. He will not over-commit, will stand his ground and has the quickness to make the play in a small area. However, I would like to see him explode to the play better. Bostic is worthy of a late round pick as I believe he can challenge to make a roster as a backup linebacker and special teams player. However, he is not someone I believe can be a starter and will struggle to carve out a long NFL career.

    And per Rob Rang of CBS Sports:

    Compares to David Hawthorne, ILB, New Orleans Saints, Just as "The Heater" has done for the Saints and previously the Seattle Seahawks, Bostic will make a club as an effective run-stuffing middle linebacker despite a lack of top-notch speed.