Image Credit: Original: AP
Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard‘s decision to return for his senior season paid off Friday when he became the third Florida Gators player to have his name called at the 2016 NFL Draft after the Chicago Bears selected him with the No. 72 overall pick in the third round.
Bullard becomes the first Florida player selected by Chicago since linebacker Jon Bostic in 2013. He joins wide receiver Deonte Thompson as the only two Gators on the Bears.
The selection by Chicago ended a strange slide for Bullard, who was though to be a potential late first-round pick but at worst a second-round selection. Instead, Bullard saw nearly 19 defensive linemen selected ahead of him before the Bears decided to take the Gators’ best defensive player in 2015.
Someone better pick up Bullard.. Missing out on a Pro Bowler..
— Keanu Neal (@Keanu_Neal) April 30, 2016
Simply put, Bullard is as NFL ready as they come. Though he was at first resistant to moving inside and playing three technique, Bullard proved to be tremendously successful at the position. He can rush the passer, stop the run and move linemen off their spots. Perhaps even more importantly, he’s a high-character individual who is not a vocal leader but rather one who leads by example and will not be at all a concern for the team that drafts him.
With Chicago, Bullard will go back to playing defensive end, as he did during the beginning of his career at Florida. Many will remember the success former Gators DE Alex Brown had in the Windy City, and Bullard certainly has the opportunity to replicate some of that production for the Bears.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 30, 2016