After six seasons at collegiate level, Jean Delance looking to prove worth to NFL teams

Graham Hall
Gator Sports

After spending the previous six years at the collegiate level, Jean Delance’s dreams of making the NFL have almost arrived. 

“It's coming faster and faster. Every day, every 24 hours, it's like a ticking clock,” he said. “It's reality time, it's crunch time, and I feel like I've put myself in a great position."

The combination of his pass-protection ability, versatility and athleticism has made Delance an NFL Draft prospect worth keeping an eye on.

Despite battling numerous injuries throughout his Florida career, Delance, one of 15 Gators from last season’s team participating Monday in the team’s annual Pro Day, started along UF’s offensive line for much of the previous three seasons, playing primarily at right tackle. 

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That’s where the flexibility comes in, however.

“They feel like I can be a swing tackle, but also get in there and play guard. A lot of different teams want me to be able to play five positions and I feel like I can do that,” Delance said, “so they were very impressed."

Athleticism isn’t typically the first adjective that comes to mind when describing an offensive lineman, but Delance may be the rare exception.

Florida Gators offensive lineman Jean Delance runs in the 40-yard dash during Pro Day at the indoor practice facility at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Monday.

Listed at 307 pounds at the start of last season, Delance’s physical improvement was noticeable in Monday’s showcase. He ran the pro shuttle in 4.65 seconds and benched 225 pounds 21 times in front of NFL general managers, coaches and scouts, in addition to an unofficial vertical leap of 28.5 inches. 

"I feel like I was able to prove I was a great player, an explosive player, hard-working,” Delance said, “and I've got the length, but I'm also very strong, so I think I impressed a lot of guys doing 21 reps on the bench."

The final month of the process will be a busy one for Delance. Prior to participating in the mid-morning drills, Delance dined with representatives from the Philadelphia Eagles, and he’ll meet with three additional franchises over the next two weeks. 

Signs are pointing to Delance finding a home somewhere at the professional level of football. 

"April 4th I'm going to the (San Diego) Chargers, then April 11th I'll be with the (Arizona) Cardinals. Then, on April 7th I'll be going to Tampa's Pro Day as of now,” Delance said. “I met with the Eagles last night, had dinner with them. So there's a lot of different interest from different places."

Florida Gators offensive lineman Jean Delance does the vertical jump during the University of Florida Pro Day held at the indoor practice facility, in Gainesville, March 28, 2022.

Although he’s not playing favorites – after transferring, sitting out and battling his way to a starting spot, Delance is simply looking for his next opportunity to prove himself. 

“I want to get to the best place, the most suitable place for me and the organization to prove that I'm a hard-working player and I'm a hard-working guy that's going to fit perfectly in the locker room and their scheme,” he said. “"At this point, I feel like I can get even stronger. I proved it today, but I feel like I want to be a guy that can go on their own and rep 365. I want to be a strong guy, and just a very flexible player."