GAINESVILLE -- Following weeks (or months) of over-analyzation, endless mock drafts and the psychoanalysis of 10,000 wannabe Dr. Frazier Crane's, the 2014 NFL Draft is finally upon us.
The frustratingly-fascinating three-day event kicks off tonight (8 p.m., ESPN/NFL Network), only the first round figures to be an uneventful evening for the Gators.
But anything can happen.
For the second time in three years, Florida is unlikely to see a former player selected in the first round, as talented defensive tackle Dominique Easley -- a former top 10 overall prospect before a second non-contact knee injury -- stands as the lone semi-possible late-first round pick.
Easley is a dominant three-technique defender who continues to climb teams’ draft boards following an impressive private pro day and a purported clean bill of health, but he figures to be a mid-second round pick and the first former Florida player off the board.
In all, the Gators could have as many as eight players drafted, but the majority of ex-Gators are likely to wait until Saturday (rounds 4-7) to hear their names called.
Enigmatic cornerbacks Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy were once touted as possible first rounders, but both prospects could be drafted after fellow UF cornerback Jaylen Watkins.
Former No. 1 overall recruit Ronald Powell, a player with durability concerns but potential as a pass rushing specialist, could be selected anywhere between rounds 4-6, while wideout Solomon Patton and offensive guard Jon Halapio figure to be Florida’s lone offensive players drafted.
Below are my Gators draft projections. They’re surely to be wrong.
Make your own picks in the comments section and use this blog as a thread for the next couple of days.
I’ll update the piece as Gators start to come off the board.
DT Dominique Easley - 2nd Round 1st Round - No. 29 overall, New England Patriots
CB Jaylen Watkins - 3rd Round 4th Round - No. 101, Philadelphia Eagles
CB Marcus Roberson - 4th Round
CB Loucheiz Purifoy - 5th Round
LB/DE Ronald Powell - 5th Round 5th Round - No. 169, New Orleans Saints
OG Jon Halapio - 6th Round 6th Round - No. 179, New England Patriots
WR Solomon Patton - 7th Round
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
C Jon Harrison
WR Trey Burton
DT Damien Jacobs
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