Written by James Brown, Gatorsfirst.com Co-Founder
Not many Gators are projected to be drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft this weekend. Some of that has to do with our young team the last couple seasons, and a lot of that has to do with Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes returning to school. So let's fast forward a bit and look at the 2010 NFL Draft, from a Gator point of view.
If you check out our first round NFL Mock Draft, you'll see Percy Harvin is the only Gator projected to go in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. If you look at this Gainesville Sun blog, you'll see Harvin, Cornelius Ingram, and possibly Louis Murphy are likely the only Gators to be drafted tomorrow.
Tackles Jason Watkins and Phil Trautwein are they only other Gators likely to be drafted at all, while Tate Casey, James Smith, and Kehstan Moore all might get a shot in camp.
But 2010 could have a dozen or so Gators drafted, with several high picks, so let's look ahead...
The NFL Draft is my least favorite day in sports history. Probably because of the way you all love it so much.
But guess what? It's boring, and takes forever.
And it dominates the TV for an entire day. Someone will still think Josh Freeman is a better pro prospect than Tim Tebow.
This also doesn't mean I don't like reading about the results, and speculating on who goes where. The actual watching of the draft is dreadful...go watch the Red Sox and the Yankees instead.
I've grown less bitter about it. I don't watch anywhere near the volume of TV I used to, unless it's a sporting event, or I'm extremely bored, I'm not watching anything live.
It doesn't hurt that there will be beer involved. My point is, I will not be in front of the TV. I could not be happier about that fact.
Anyways, here are the 'NFL prospect' rankings according to MSN/Foxsports/Scout/CollegeFootballNews/whatever else they call themselves.
I am going by these rankings. It is important to note that the rankings are not a projected order of selection, but a ranking of NFL-prospect-iness.
Which is a word I just made up. In other words, I don't think they're saying that Taylor Mays will be the #1 pick, just that he's the best NFL prospect.
It's also worth noting that only FBS schools are included. That really only effects the lower rounds, in which the actual ranking probably isn't as critical.
#3- Brandon Spikes, LB - I wasn't surprised he's in the top 10 or 15 for next year, but was sort of amazed he was #3. Sounds like sticking around to try for more rings and to hang out with Tim Tebow is a great idea for anyone. Maybe that Thom Brennaman was onto something.
#18- Jermaine Cunningham, DE - Ends are usually given a lot of attention in the first round, so I could see his pick being higher than this.
#19- Tim Tebow, QB - This makes Tebow the 3rd QB prospect, behind #5 Sam Bradford and #13 Colt McCoy. In some years, this means a possible top ten pick.
Given all the Tebow-to-the-NFL backlash, I sort of expected him to be lower. Anyway, you know how I feel.
#44- Joe Haden, CB - He's shown a lot of improvement. I think I called it on our preseason podcast last year? Maybe? Can I take credit?
Anyways, corners are always in demand, so this doesn't sound out of the ordinary. This is also the first Jr. they are saying is a prospect, and Haden is the highest profile guy who I could see staying, if his younger brother actually signs with Florida and he cares about such things.
In general, however, I think all the Jrs. will be gone, because of the potential for dropoff with Tebow, Spikes, etc. leaving, the back-to-back thing being dealt with, and--this applies to all teams--the rookie salary cap that's supposedly coming in 2011.
#46- Mike Pouncey, G - How did they rank one Pouncey and not the other? These guys will be great picks for some NFL team, the 'low' ranking seems to be more that NFL teams want Tackles in the first round, and interior linemen lower. Another Jr. that could stick.
#49- Carlos Dunlap, DE - Yet another Jr. He's crazy athletic.
A big year for any of our DE could give us lots of first rounders next year. My favorite Dunlap story used to be that he returned punts in HS.
Now, it's that as of this writing, his current facebook status is 'Carlos Dunlap chocalate pancakes' (his spelling, not mine). For some reason, I cried laughing when I read that.
#93- Major Wright, S - Another Jr. who is probably gone, though if he's this low maybe not. He hits damn hard also.
#99- Aaron Hernandez, TE - I'm getting tired of bringing up the Jr. thing. everyone from here down is a Jr., and could be back, especially if this is as high as they are projected.
Unless they confide in Brandon Siler. Anyways, I love the Most Tatooed Man in the History of Connecticut, and think he deserves more next-level-love than this.
#141- Carl Johnson, OT - The fact that he's a junior makes me think of Hardee's, because at some point they became equivalent to Carl's Jr.
#192- Ahmad Black, S - I am going out on a limb and saying there's a 99% chance he's back in school. The more suprising thing to me was that they had him (slow, undersized, according to Urban Meyer) in the sixth rather than the seventh.
And that Max Hall was only one spot ahead of him. Sixth Round fun fact: #179 Juice Williams, with the largest head in football (speculation), would probably cause more expensive equipment costs.
Seventh Round/Free Agents
No Gators are listed here. Though I bet they forgot someone.
Considering they only listed one Pouncey. And no Chris Rainey (but Noel Devine in the 4th...?).
Also, they listed #195 and #234 as Nate Allen, FS... once from USF and once from FSU. I don't feel like looking this up right now, but I'm going to go ahead and say that's a mistake.
In all, the 2009 draft should be fun for Gator fans to see where a few guys go, but the 2010 draft has the possibility to rival the Gator-centric nature of the 2007 NBA Draft (most recent example I could think of).
I know it's not a perfect list-- so who got left off their list entirely? Who are they under/overestimating?
We've got an entire year to debate it, let's find out which of you are right!
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