Gators in the draft


It’s probably too early to do this, but if it’s not too soon for Mel Kiper and the boys to start pumping out mock drafts (which started happening earlier in the week), it’s OK for us to take a shot at projecting where the draftable Florida players might go in April.

Let’s do it:

Mike Pouncey, center, Sr. — Some Gator fans still think it was a mistake that Pouncey made the move from guard to center last year, but the draft will prove out that it was the right decision. Some errant snaps will not be that damaging. Like his brother, Maurkice, Pouncey is an extremely quick and powerful athlete at a position where those qualities are now in demand in the NFL. Urban Meyer always said Mike Pouncey was about a year behind his twin. Well, this is the year he catches up. Projection: 1st round (somewhere in the middle).

Ahmad Black, strong safety, Sr. — Forget about size, forget about speed, forget about all the things critics say he can’t do. Black is a baller, plain and simple — a guy who knows how to play the game, a guy who uses his great instincts to make play after play, which is just what we saw at UF. At first, he’ll have to earn his way in the NFL on special teams. That’s OK, he did the same thing at Florida. Projection: 4th round.

Will Hill, free safety, Jr. — Some college underclassmen simply don’t want to go to school anymore, so they put their name in the draft regardless of the feedback from the NFL. If you’ve seen any of Hill’s tweets, you’ll know he’s probably one of those guys. Other than his interception against Georgia in overtime this past season, Hill’s biggest plays came on special teams. Granted, he had to fight through injuries this year, but still, he just didn’t show anyone a whole lot. Projection: 4th round.

Chas Henry, punter, Sr. — Kickers traditionally don’t go until the later rounds, but Henry is a gifted punter who figures to have a long and productive career in the NFL. Someone is going to scoop him up in the middle of the draft — and be happy they did. Projection: 4th round.

Marcus Gilbert, offensive tackle, Sr. — Gilbert has an NFL body and is an excellent athlete for a big man. He wasn’t the most consistent guy during his UF career, but he showed real flashes. With time and development, he’ll eventually have a chance to be a player in the league. Projection: 5th round.

Justin Trattou, defensive end, Sr. — He’s not big enough to be an every-down defensive end (something we even saw at UF), but he has a chance to make it at outside linebacker, like Jermaine Cunningham is doing with the Patriots. Trattou can really run, and the NFL guys will love his relentless motor. Projection: 6th round.

Carl Johnson, offensive guard, Sr. — He certainly looks the part, but he seemed to lack consistency at UF and seemed to struggle some in pass protection. Still, he’s a big, strong guy with the right demeanor. Projection: 7th round.

Carl Moore, wide receiver, Sr. — A writer from another paper seemed shocked when I told him earlier this season I didn’t think Moore would make it in the NFL. Well, let’s see, he’s not very fast, not very quick and he has very little to show the NFL in terms of his game tape. He never really did much. Didn’t get open, didn’t make plays. Projection: free agent.

Emmanuel Moody, tailback, Sr. — He’s a really good athlete who showed flashes at times, but he always seemed to be hurt. There is almost nothing on tape for the NFL scouts to break down. Projection: free agent.

Lawrence Marsh, defensive tackle, Sr. — Injuries pretty much wrecked his senior season and, perhaps, his chances in the NFL. Projection: free agent.

A.J. Jones, linebacker and Brandon Hicks, Sr. linebackers: I put these two together because they’re pretty much the same — fast, athletic, aggressive, but lacking in size and coming off a relatively unproductive season. Projection: free agent.

Duke Lemmens, defensive end, Sr. — Like Trattou, he’s too small to play defensive end at the next level. But he might have a chance to stick with a team as a backup outside linebacker and on special teams. No one plays harder. Projection: free agent.

Terron Sanders, defensive tackle, Sr. — He’s played really well at times. Other times, he’s been slowed by injuries and has lacked consistency. Projection: free agent.

Other possible free agents: defensive tackle Brandon Antwine, whose injury list is long and serious; outside linebacker Lorenzo Edwards, a career special-teams player for the Gators; offensive guard Maurice Hurt, who was injured much of his career; wide receiver Justin Williams, mostly just a special teams player at UF.


  1. Will Hill will be very lucky to get picked up at all. He may have the physical traits to be a good safety but his instincts are terrible. I would wash out his one good play all year with the numerous erors he made in coverage. But likely some team will look at his combine items and think he has a chance to play.

  2. There is no way Ahmad Black gets drafted. That little kid couldn’t make it a day in the NFL. I think Chaz Henry will be a great punter in the NFL, however. Also, Will Hill………..give me a break.

    Florida has had some mega talent these last several years, but these guys are not cream of the crop.

    FSU now has the number one class in the country. Yeah, baby! Go ‘Noles!

  3. No chance Pouncey in round one, none. Did you actually watch him this season? Did anyone? It wasn’t just his snaps, he was terrible and got bulldozed by any number of players from any number of teams.

    Stop dreaming.

  4. Jack should be happy – the Noles only lost 4 games this year. This is the best they have been in 10 years.

    2010 will prove to be a year to remember for F$U. When such little victories are cherished, we know the Noles stink!

    Just think, F$U was afraid to join the SEC because they did not think an SEC team could win the Natty.

    QUESTION: Why did the chicken cross the road? To join the ACC.

    Jack – enjoy your meritocracy!!!!!

  5. Ahmad Black is the same height and only a little smaller than Javier Arenas, who was drafted 50th overall in the 2nd round last year and saw a lot of playing time for the Chiefs this season. While Black certainly isn’t gonna keep up with Arenas in a footrace, he has proven ball instincts as good as anyone in the draft. To think he would go undrafted is ridiculous.

  6. FSU fan comes on Gator board article about NFL draft and slams our candidates for the draft by proclaiming ‘We have the number 1 class in the country.”
    What does that have to do with the focus of this article?
    Only a delusionole can know.

  7. My predictions:

    Pouncey may slip down to the 2nd round and right into the hands of Pittsburg… let him reunite with his brother.

    Black will be a steal to someone, after the first two rounds are over. He’ll slip because of discussion of his size, but he’ll make an immediate impact.

    Chaz will get drafted in the 6th round (another steal). All others will go undrafted.

  8. The only reason Noles comment here is because the online Tallahassee Democrat isn’t free and they’re too cheap to pay for it. Instead of paying to talk about the Seminoles, they’d rather troll the Gators for free. They won a game, so it gives them a little wiggle room on the internet. As soon as they smacked down by Florida, Miami, or Oklahoma next year, we’ll have to hear from them.

  9. Jack Nation,

    What do you expect on a message board? For our hated rivals to be allowed to come onto the Gators site & slam our players with no consequence?? Plus it’s laughable that you’re so sensitive over such harmless nicknames, especially after calling Ahmad Black a “little kid.” Last I checked, he’s a “grown man” too. I’m sure if he bumped into you on the street he might feel the same way you do now… ; – )

  10. Jack – Ahmad Black was a 3-year starter at Florida. He was productive, he was a play-maker, and he was a leader. And he did it in the “big-boy league”. Someone will give him a shot.

    Pouncey will be fine, but his future is probably at guard.

    I would bet that Will Hill will not make a roster, and I’ll have a hard time feeling sorry for him.

  11. Jack, et. al, who are slamming Pouncey, you’re forgetting one thing… He moved to C to help the team. By all rights, had he stayed at OG, or switched between OG and OT, he’d be a high first round draftee. He proved he’s willing to give up something for the team and play where he’s needed, even if he isn’t great at that particular position. High character choices like that will always help a player in the draft.

  12. “We do have class. Just sometimes the mean Gator fans out there bring out the worst in us.”

    Jack… you realize that comment makes you look like a pathetic little whiner? Wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah, wah!

  13. I do not think Pouncey proved to be first round material this year, however, all the talking heads still have him in the first round as G/C. I think he is potentially the best G in the draft, and if someone drafts him on that skill, then yes, first round is his destiny. If they’re looking at him as a C, then what the hell are they thinking, lol.
    I’d love to say Black will make it b/c of his skills and instinct, but the NFL really does require some size to play safety. Not sure if Black can cut it, but I hope he does. He’s a heck of a player!!
    Will Hill: good bye, and please never admit to attending UF! You are a complete moron. I hope the NFL sees that as well.

  14. ONE legitimate draft prospect? Are you serious? What happened to all those top-10 recruits? Is this more proof that Meyer can’t coach? Or just proof that his option-offense is the death-blow to NFL prospects? Or proof that those recruits were rated high BECAUSE they came to Florida not the other way around. And where are all the felons? Aren’t they usually NFL guys or did Meyer and his staff blow that too? The only reason to have those guys on the roster is to get them to the NFL and help fund the program going forward. Apparently they can’t even get that right!

  15. Jack is a typical seminole fan. They have been hot garbage for six years before this and now they have a good season and they are everywhere. You noles are talking too much. You are trying to get a pass because sometimes you make good points on your posts. But eventually your true colors show. Yeah the noles are on top right now in the state. But enjoy that view because this isn’t the 90’s. You will be coming back down we will be back!!

  16. Jack, no one thought Florida was in serious consideration for O’Leary, but thanks for your insightful news flash………….. and kaput, I didn’t think Pouncey was a terrific at center either, but you and I don’t draft players and than the ones that do have him going in the first round.

  17. …..I know gator fans want to stick it to Will Hill for being immature and never living up to his potential, but he is to good an athlete to not get drafted. Some one will take a chance on him and if he ever gets his head on straight he could have a decent career at the next level.

  18. Could we please have Janoris J. reconsider going away. Perhaps returning will allow him to be a part of the GIANT statue at the players entrance to the stadium where the players are identified by GPD arrest number.

  19. After looking at this list and where they are projected to go it’s a wonder we actually won as many games as we did. senior leadership is something that can’t be measured and when it’s not there and no one picks up the slack the whole team suffers.