GAINESVILLE -- With the 2016 NFL Draft in the books, a number of sites have already pumped out 2017 mock drafts.
Too early? Ridiculous? Useless?
But mock drafts are mostly silly exercises anyways, so you might as well take look at what others are saying about a pair of Florida's star defensive players.
According to analysts, All-SEC cornerback Jalen Tabor is a consensus first-round pick. In 2015, UF’s rising junior actually outplayed All-American teammate Vernon Hargreaves III, who went No. 11 overall to Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Tabor, who measures a hair taller than 6-foot and weighs 191 pounds, is bigger than Hargreaves and has better ball-skills. He led the SEC with 18 passes defended, intercepting four passes and returning two picks for touchdowns.
Most projections have Tabor somewhere in the ‘teens, but one mock draft lists the cornerback as a Top 5 pick.
CBS Sports -- No. 11 to the Tennessee Titans
"The Florida secondary loses Vernon Hargreaves, but Tabor had 10 more pass break-ups last season than the 2016 first-rounder and competes with unwavering confidence."
Bleacher Report -- No. 16 to the New York Jets.
“The No. 2 cornerback job is up for grabs in New York, and while the Jets did add Juston Burris in the fourth round, a lockdown starter coming in the first-round of the 2017 draft makes sense for general manager Mike Maccagnan's crew.
Tabor was a star in the Florida defense—a group that was and is loaded with future NFL talent when you watched them in 2015. Tabor even out-shined first-rounder Vernon Hargreaves on film at times, impressing with his 6'1", 192 pound frame and length. Where Hargreaves was shorter and more technical, Tabor brings elite size and length, plus the speed to turn and run with the best of the best at receiver.”
The Big Lead -- No. 13 to the Chicago Bears.
“Two scouts told me he had a better year with the Gators last season than Vernon Hargreaves who was taken 11th overall. Tabor’s slightly bigger and had four interceptions in 2015. Was the 10th best player in the high school class of 2014, according to Rivals.”
SB Nation -- No. 10 to the Miami Dolphins
“Drafting Xavien Howard in the second round [in 2016] was a need-based pick, but Tabor projects as a true No. 1 corner.”
Walter Football -- No. 4 to the Tennessee Titans
“Tennessee's glaring weakness on the defensive side of the ball is in the secondary. Upgrades have to be made at cornerback and safety, and given the team's other needs, it may not be able to address both positions until 2017.”
Sporting News -- No. 16 to the New York Jets
"While Vernon Hargreaves stole most of the attention at Florida this past year, Tabor was also one of the most respect defensive backs in the SEC in 2015. With better size than Hargreaves (6-1 listed), he’ll have a chance to be drafted similarly. Jets need long-term planning for the cornerback position."
Meanwhile, Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis, a heat-seeking missile from the weak-side spot, also showed up in several mock drafts. Davis opted to return for his season after finishing second on the team in tackles with 98. Davis also added 11.5 TFL, one interception and 3.5 sacks last season.
CBS Sports -- No. 20 to the Baltimore Ravens
"A loose athlete with quick read-react skills, Davis would fit well next to C.J. Mosley as an inside linebacker in Baltimore' scheme."
Bleacher Report -- No. 18 to the New York Giants
“An absolute thumper at linebacker, Jarrad Davis was all over the field when you turned on the Florida tape in 2015. He's a complete three-down 'backer with the movement and instincts to lock down a defense as a 4-3 or 3-4 middle linebacker.
The New York Giants don't traditionally draft linebackers in the first round, but Davis should be the exception. He would be a freak in a defense with Devon Kennard at strongside 'backer and a gigantic hole at the other two linebacker spots. Draft Davis in Round 1, plug him into the defense and you'll see instant improvement over what the Giants' front seven has been able to do in recent seasons.”
Walter Football -- No. 24 to the Minnesota Vikings
“Chad Greenway was retained for 2016, but he announced that this upcoming season would be his last in the NFL. As a result, the Vikings will have to find a third linebacker sometime in the near future.”
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