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2017 NFL Draft Preview: Gators Look to Make Leap to NFL

The 2017 NFL Draft is here, and with it come the hopes of many Gator players of finally being able to play on Sundays in the NFL.

Last year, Florida tied for with Alabama and Notre Dame for the fourth most selections last year (7) and had two taken in the first round. Vernon Hargreaves went to Tampa Bay with the 11th overall pick before the Atlanta Falcons selected Keanu Neal with the 17th overall pick.

Gator Hopefuls- First Round

This year, it seems likely that Florida will have at least another two Gators taken in the first round.

Jarrad Davis has been shooting up draft boards since the end of his senior season. The 6’1″, 238 lb. linebacker was voted second team All-SEC this past season after accumulating 60 tackles despite missing three games. Davis had an impressive pro day, which included running a 4.56 second 40-yard dash, which helped boost his draft stock. He’s expected to in the middle-to-latter part of the first round.

Also expected to go at some point in the first round is cornerback Quincy Wilson. The 6’1″, 211 lb. corner declared after a standout junior season playing opposite fellow draft hopeful Jalen Tabor. He allowed fewer than 40 percent of passes thrown his way to be completed and helped anchor a Florida defense that led the Gators to the SEC Championship game. Teams such as the Saints and Eagles have been projected to take him, and he’s considered to be one of the top defensive back prospects in the draft.

Gator Hopefuls- Other Rounds

Apart from those two, plenty of other former Gators are expected to be selected in the middle or late rounds.

Tabor has fallen on draft boards because of poor measurables from his combine and pro day, including forties in the 4.7 seconds range, but is still expected to go in the early rounds because of how he played his senior season and throughout his time in Gainesville.

Other Gators eligible for the draft that are expected to be selected at some point include Alex Anzalone, Caleb Brantley, Bryan Cox Jr. and David Sharpe, among others.

Florida will be looking to continue being the only SEC school to have a player selected in every common draft since it’s inception.

Tonight’s first round will start at 8 p.m., followed by the rounds two and three Friday night at 7, and round four through seven on Saturday starting at noon. Stay tuned to WRUF for continuous coverage of the 2017 NFL Draft.

About Jonathan Acosta

Native New Englander. Follow me on Twitter: @jonacosta_10

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