Florida Gators: 2013 NFL draft

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The 2013 NFL draft was certainly a good one for the Florida Gators, especially after the poor showing in the prior year, in which only two Gators were drafted. This year, Florida had eight taken between Thursday and Saturday. That’s one shy of the school record for most UF players drafted in the seven-round format.

The 2014 could be pretty similar. The Gators have 11 scholarship seniors graduating and could lose three underclassmen. Of those 14 players, eight project as draftable -- including two possible first-round selections.

[+] EnlargeDominique Easley
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesDominique Easley, with his impressive first step, could become as noted in 2014 NFL draft discussions as 2013 first-round pick Sharrif Floyd.
Here’s an early look at next year’s draft class (* - denotes underclassman):

DE/LB Ronald Powell * (6-foot-4, 234 pounds)
Projected rounds: 1-3

Tagging the Gators: DT Sharrif Floyd

December, 14, 2012
12/14/12
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Editor’s note: Each day between now and Florida’s Allstate Sugar Bowl date with Louisville, GatorNation will review the season for a key Gators player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at DT Sharrif Floyd.

DT Sharrif Floyd
Junior
41 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 6 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked kick

[+] EnlargeSharrif Floyd
Kim Klement/US PresswireGators defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd might have the highest NFL draft stock on the team after a solid junior season.
Role in 2012: Floyd moved inside to tackle after spending the first two years of his career at end and was the Gators’ best defensive lineman by the end of the season.

The good: The coaching staff hoped that a return to tackle would allow the 6-foot-3, 305-pound Floyd to flourish, and that’s what happened. Floyd started off the season a bit slow, but he surged midway through the season as a disruptive force. He didn’t always make the tackle but he was in the backfield and forced ball carriers into other defenders. Floyd’s explosiveness, quickness and strength made him someone opponents had to double-team.

The bad: Not a whole lot to find wrong with the way Floyd played this season; he was pretty consistent. He wasn’t as dominant as he could have been against lesser opponents Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State, but he made plays in both games. The coaching staff might have been hoping for more sacks, but Floyd’s six QB hurries were second to DE Jonathan Bullard's seven.

Crystal ball: Floyd is shooting up NFL draft projections. Mel Kiper Jr., has him at No. 23 on his latest Big Board and Todd McShay has him No. 28. It’ll be hard for Floyd to pass up the chance to be a first-round pick, so it’s expected that he’ll forgo his final season at Florida. He plays a premium position and he’ll wow scouts with his quickness at workouts, so he could sneak into the top half of the draft.

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Saturday, 12/27
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Monday, 12/29
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Thursday, 1/1
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