Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow takes the first regular-season snap of his NFL career with 14:28 to play in the second quarter on Sept. 12, 2010, at EverBank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

Pat Dooley’s High Five: Gators’ Surprising NFL First-Round Draft Picks

It was an interesting Friday morning for us old folks who went to sleep well before the first round of the NFL draft concluded late Thursday night.

I told my wife Florida receiver Ricky Pearsall was picked in the first round and her response was, “Really? I was told he wasn’t going until at least the second round.”

Not by me, although that was exactly what I was thinking.

Today, we are all thrilled for Pearsall. It also made me think of some other Gators who were surprising first-round picks.

Therefore, the latest High Five:

  1. Tim Tebow (2010)

We all loved Timmy, but we also thought he’d be a second-rounder at best. I remember talking to super-agent Jimmy Sexton days after Denver made the pick and he was all, “Man, we shocked some people didn’t we?”

  1. Taven Bryan (2018)

Never saw this one coming. He had been an underachiever during his Florida career before having a solid final season. But the Jaguars thought he was a disruptive force and took him with the 29th pick.

  1. Kyle Pitts (2021)

We all knew he was going in the first round, but you don’t see tight ends go with the fourth pick. Now, if the Falcons can figure out a way to throw him the damn ball.

  1. D.J. Humphries (2015)

So, we were at a bar in Birmingham for the bowl game and so was D.J. A woman at the bar asked where he was projected and he said it was the second round. Hopefully. Arizona took him with the 24th pick and he has had a really good NFL career.

  1. Travis Taylor (2000)

Taylor was a really good player, but he was hurt through a good chunk of the 1999 season with an ankle issue. He went nuts on the Citrus Bowl loss with 11 catches and three touchdowns. But I still didn’t see the first round coming to Baltimore.

WRUF.com sports columnist Pat Dooley can be heard on “The Tailgate” along with Jeff Cardozo from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday on 98.1-FM/AM-850 WRUF.

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