Florida Football: NFL Combine Grades, Analysis and Results for Former Gators

Randy ChambersAnalyst IFebruary 26, 2014

Florida Football: NFL Combine Grades, Analysis and Results for Former Gators

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Florida Gators were well represented in the NFL combine with eight players participating in drills. A couple of guys really turned heads and improved their stock, while others should be thankful they’ll have a chance to put up better numbers during Florida’s pro day.

    It’s important to note that a lot of these drills are overrated and certainly aren’t the be all and end all to a player's stock. However, any time scouts are in the building, a player must take advantage of the opportunity and impress.

    Unfortunately, the biggest name of the bunch had a horrible showing. The good news is that there were a few diamonds in the rough and guys who made a name for themselves.

Trey Burton, TE

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    40-Yard Dash Time: 4.62 seconds 

    Bench Press: N/A

    Vertical Jump: 30"

    Broad Jump: 112"

    Three-Cone Drill: 7.14 seconds

    20-Yard Shuttle: 4.32 seconds 

    As far as tight ends are concerned, Trey Burton had the fourth-fastest 40 time, the second-fastest three-cone drill and the fifth-fastest 20-yard shuttle. His cone drill time is the most impressive, as it shows he’s able to change directions quicker than most tight ends, and that really helps his stock considering he’s not your typical tight end.

    Whoever drafts Burton will do so keeping his versatility in mind. He’ll lineup all over the field like he did at Florida and help the offense out in many different ways. He can do a little bit of everything.

    Burton had a solid combine for what it’s worth, but his ceiling isn’t that high. What you see is what you get. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t create a niche as a utility player and end up carving out a successful career at the next level. He could end up being a late-round steal if given a legitimate chance. He'll need a creative offensive coordinator. 

    Grade: B

Dominique Easley, DT

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    40-Yard Dash Time: N/A

    Bench Press: 26 reps

    Vertical Jump: N/A

    Broad Jump: N/A

    Three-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

    As expected, Dominique Easley didn’t do much at the combine due to a torn ACL he suffered last season. It was the second ACL injury of his young career.

    I would have liked to see him put up a better number in the bench press, considering 14 other defensive linemen benched pressed at least 27 reps, but the one drill he did isn’t going to make or break his draft stock. Jadeveon Clowney put up 21 reps, and there’s a decent chance he’ll get drafted first overall.

    The main concern with Easley is his health, and if he wants any chance of sniffing the first round, he’ll have to prove his knees are 100 percent during Florida’s pro day. Everybody knows his athleticism, motor and quickness are off the charts. It really comes down to whether or not he’ll be able to move past his bumps and bruises.

    That question obviously wasn’t answered during the combine.

    Grade: Incomplete 

Jon Halapio, OT

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    40-Yard Dash Time: 5.34 seconds 

    Bench Press: N/A

    Vertical Jump: 21.5"

    Broad Jump: 100"

    Three-Cone Drill: 8.26 seconds 

    20-Yard Shuttle: 4.83 seconds 

    Jon Halapio may not be much of a household name, but he really helped himself with a solid combine. None of his numbers where anywhere close to being the best among other offensive linemen, but they were good enough to make scouts think twice about just who Halapio is.

    The former Florida offensive lineman is more than just a tough-nosed run blocker who wants to get his hands dirty in the trenches. He has a little athleticism to go along with his brute power and moves better than expected despite his 6’3”, 323-pound frame.

    While his numbers aren’t going to turn any heads, they weren’t horrible, and were actually better than expected. It’s important to note that he didn’t lift due to a torn pectoral he suffered during last season.

    Still, Halapio is going to be a steal for an NFL team in the later rounds, especially if he can follow up his combine performance with an impressive pro day.

    Grade: B+

Jonotthan Harrison, C

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    40-Yard Dash Time: 5.15 seconds 

    Bench Press: 27 reps 

    Vertical Jump: 27"

    Broad Jump: 113"

    Three-Cone Drill: 7.97 seconds 

    20-Yard Shuttle: 4.86 seconds 

    Obviously the most impressive part of Jonotthan Harrison’s combine was his broad jump. It was one inch further than Trey Burton, and he’s a good 80 pounds heavier than the versatile tight end. Overall, Harrison’s broad jump was third-best among offensive linemen and tied with Auburn’s Greg Robinson. The explosion out of that jump does kind of silence the rumors of him not being athletic.

    However, only to a certain extent. His shuttle run was slower than Halapio’s, and he’s a lot slimmer than his former teammate. The word is Harrison doesn’t move very well and wouldn’t fit in a zone blocking scheme. These numbers prove that theory true considering there were other centers putting up shuttle run numbers in the 4.4-4.6 second range.

    Harrison is still a strong run blocker and has a nice combination of size and strength. He’ll need a strong pro day in order to solidify his draft status.

    Grade: C

Ronald Powell, LB

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    40-Yard Dash Time: 4.65 seconds 

    Bench Press: 21 reps 

    Vertical Jump: 35.5"

    Broad Jump: 114"

    Three-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

    Ronald Powell really impressed with his 40 time, which was tied with Khalil Mack for the fourth-fastest time among linebackers. It was also a split second faster than UCLA’s Anthony Barr, who is widely considered one of the more athletic players in this entire draft.

    Powell is expected to be a hybrid player who spends time doing a little bit of everything and moving around a lot, so the pure speed was nice to see. However, the lack of lower-body explosion in his vertical jump is a little concerning given his overall athleticism you see on tape.

    He has a lot going for him and could have been considered a lot higher in this draft class. But let’s be honest, two previous ACL injuries have teams shaking in their boots. I’m not sure there’s much he’ll be able to do that’s going to improve his draft stock a whole lot.

    Still, he’ll be a much better pro than he was a collegiate player, and he’ll likely come at a cheap price.

    Grade: C+

Loucheiz Purifoy, CB

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    40-Yard Dash Time: 4.61 seconds 

    Bench Press: Six reps 

    Vertical Jump: 35.5"

    Broad Jump: 120"

    Three-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

    Loucheiz Purifoy’s numbers at the combine are further evidence of why he should have probably stayed in school for another season. Six reps of 225 pounds? Sure, corners don’t need to put up gladiator numbers, but that single digit doesn’t make Florida’s strength and conditioning program look very good. Your average high school ball player can put up more reps.

    Purifoy was also considered a speedster and a fluid athlete who has great recovery speed. Well, his weak 40-yard dash time says otherwise. That time didn’t even put him in the top 15 among fellow cornerbacks. One thing he had going for him was his athleticism, and that must have stayed back home in Gainesville.

    Of course, he’ll have a chance to redeem himself come pro day, but if these numbers are any indication of what’s to come, he’s in serious trouble.

    Purifoy had an outside chance of being a late first-round, early second-round pick, but these numbers could possibly knock him into the third-round range.

    It simply wasn’t a good showing for the former talented defensive back.

    Grade: F

Marcus Roberson, CB

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    40-Yard Dash Time: 4.61 seconds 

    Bench Press: Eight reps 

    Vertical Jump: 37.5"

    Broad Jump: 120"

    Three-Cone Drill: 6.84 seconds 

    20-Yard Shuttle: 4.08 seconds 

    Another Florida cornerback with terrible upper-body strength. Maybe the lack of strength and endurance could explain the amount of injuries Florida had last season. Something must be in the water.

    In all seriousness, Marcus Roberson had an OK combine, but not great. His 40 time is exactly the same number as Loucheiz Purifoy’s, and frankly, it’s what you would expect from a safety, not somebody who is looking to play corner at the next level. He’ll need to improve that number to solidify his draft stock.

    However, his three-cone drill time was good for ninth among cornerbacks, which showed why many scouts are high on his potential. He changes directions very quickly and has fluid hips. While his top-end speed may not be great, he’s able to keep up with receivers due to his quickness and ability to change direction without losing a step.

    His vertical jump was also tied for 10th with Oregon State’s Rashaad Reynolds and Florida State’s Lamarcus Joyner.

    I liked that Roberson wasn’t afraid to go out there and compete in all of the drills. He left scouts with just enough heading into the pro day. He’ll certainly be one to keep an eye on.  

    Grade: C+

Jaylen Watkins, CB

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    40-Yard Dash Time: 4.41 seconds 

    Bench Press: 22 reps

    Vertical Jump: N/A

    Broad Jump: N/A

    Three-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

    OK, well, maybe all Florida defensive backs didn’t skip strength and conditioning days after all. Jaylen Watkins tied with Keith Reaser of Florida Atlantic for the most reps by a cornerback. That certainly wasn’t expected from somebody who stands in at 5’11” and weighs under 200 pounds.

    Not sure where all of that strength came from, but it certainly couldn’t hurt his stock.

    One thing that is for sure is that we knew he had speed. His brother is former Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, so speed runs in the family. His 40 time of 4.41 seconds was tied for fifth among corners and without question fast enough to pass the eye test.

    I think now would be a good time to also mention that he’s coming off a Achilles strain he suffered during the Senior Bowl.

    While you would have liked to see Watkins participate in more events, these numbers were still outstanding. When you combine his versatility, as he’s able to play corner, safety or nickel, Watkins has the potential to be a late-round steal for a lucky NFL team.

    He had the best combine of any Florida player.

    Grade: A