Florida Gators In the 2009 NFL Draft: A Quick Recap
When I say quick recap, I do not mean that this article will be poorly researched or hastily written. I say quick recap because there were only three University of Florida football players selected in the seven rounds of the NFL draft.
But do not feel downtrodden, as Florida State University and the University of Miami produced only one NFL prospect apiece (UM’s selection was not until the sixth round!). It's crazy to think that Florida’s big three football powerhouses placed five players on NFL rosters in 2009.
I, on the other hand, live for the NFL draft. It may be one of my top sports weekends of the year, and none of the participants break a sweat (except maybe Brady Quinn or Aaron Rodgers in their respective green rooms). Tis’ a ridiculous spectacle of drunken New Yorkers, overpaid and overdressed analysts, and seven action packed rounds of determining young folks’ careers.
My favorite part of the draft is how a crazy rumor-mill vortex is created. Everyone conveniently forgets how well a player performed in college because he ran a slow 40-time, sat nervously through an interview, or carried the dreaded “off-field issues” tag.
This year was no exception. There was no Vikings clock management meltdown or an embarrassing drop for a guaranteed “top 10 pick”, but of course, every selection announced by the commissioner was booed by the nerds crowding the Radio City Music Hall.
The Raiders selected Maryland WR Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh overall pick, despite the availability of sensational wideout Michael Crabtree at that point.
The Gators available to be drafted included WR’s Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin, TE Cornelius Ingram, OL's Jason Watkins, Phil Trautwein, and James Tartt, and RB Kestahn Moore.
Percy Harvin fell to the Vikings at pick No. 22. He was the fourth WR taken, but his potential explosiveness has caused many analysts to call his acquisition the infamous “steal of the draft” label.
Percy, freshly stamped with the “off-field issues” brand, failed a Marijuana drug-test at the NFL Combine. I have examined Harvin closely during his tenure at UF, and I highly doubt he has any problems with “work ethic” or “addiction," but you know how the rumor-mill works. Another knock on Percy is his durability.
Ironically, another famous Minnesota first round superstar had durability issues. His name is Adrian Peterson, and he fell from a possible first overall pick into the Vikings’ lap at pick No. 7. Then he became a legend in two seasons. Now he is a teammate of Percy Harvin.
The possibilities are endless when you dream of AP and Percy on the field together. The Vikings have struggled making big plays with players other than Peterson, and Percy’s ability to spread the field can free up running lanes for AP.
Viking’s coach Brad Childress has projected Percy will have 10 TD’s this season, with five of them coming from at least 50 yards.
The second Gator selected in the draft was WR Louis Murphy. He was selected in the fourth round (126th overall) by the Oakland Raiders. I do not really have anything to say about this selection, so feel free to comment below.
I never really liked Murphy, and I do not think he is really even a stand-out player enough to be drafted. But I am usually wrong about things like this, and maybe he will flourish and break the dreaded "Florida wide receiver" curse.
The last Gator selection was the athletic specimen I refer to as CI. TE Cornelius Ingram has been at this school as long as I have. We were freshmen at the same time six years ago, and I fondly remember him playing for Billy Donovan in the O’Connell Center.
He then redshirted and splashed onto the football team’s roster as a backup QB in 2005. CI started building impressive numbers as a pass-catching tight end until 2008, when an ACL tear ended his entire senior season.
CI was selected by the Eagles in the fifth round (153rd overall). Ingram joins Percy Harvin-esque WR Jeremy Maclin in the Eagles’ offensively-minded draft class. ESPN.com describes CI as a potential poor run-blocker with “durability issues” (still even more terrible draft lingo).
We will now have to wait four agonizing months until football season returns (and I mean agonizing) to start determining the whereabouts of these fresh-faced rooks in the NFL.
The four other undrafted players will hope to be signed in the coming days. ESPN.com lists OL Jason Watkins the 13th best remaining undrafted player.
You can view the original article here.
Written by Ryan Collins, Gatorsfirst.com Contributor
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