Evaluating Florida Gators ahead of 2015 NFL Draft

Despite being incredibly busy during the week of the 2015 NFL Draft, longtime analyst Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net sat down with OnlyGators.com on Sunday afternoon for a wide-ranging look at the Florida Gators who could be selected Thursday-Saturday at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.

Pauline evaluated most of the 22 Florida players available in the draft and even provided projections for each prospect including many who may not be selected from April 30-May 2 but rather picked up as undrafted free agents.

“The talent Florida is showcasing in this draft is a bit top-heavy but there are plenty of players who could make NFL rosters and succeed in the league, which really points to how bad the coaching and quarterback play was in Gainesville,” Pauline said of the overall crop of prospects. “I think the Gators have a solid class, and the fans that wanted the coach fired, this just adds fuel to their argument.”

Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr.
Projection: Round 1, Picks 3-6
Analysis: “He’s a top-six player, likely to Washington, maybe to the Jets, possibly to Jacksonville. He’s a great pass rusher; he’s a terrific athlete. He’s an intense, very explosive and sudden player. I like the fact that even though he is undersized, he was never overwhelmed at the point of attack. He struggled against the run at times but when you’re a shorter, smaller defensive end, that’s going to happen. I think he’ll be fine as a 3-4 outside linebacker, maybe a one-gap end, although he’s going to have to learn to protect himself better and to defend the run at the next level. I love his intensity. He’s not just a guy who is a natural-ability guy. He got by on natural ability but also never stopped coming.”

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Chaz Green – Path to the 2015 NFL Draft: Visiting Seahawks, preparing for the big day

Through the 2015 NFL Draft from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green will keep you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Green checks in for the fifth time to discuss his final visits and last steps ahead of the draft, which he will watch from his home in Palm Harbor, Florida.

After a bunch of visits, I returned to Gainesville for a few days but only got a short rest before jumping on a plane for my final visit to Seattle. With the success the Seahawks have had the last couple years, that was a really exciting visit. I had never been to Seattle and had only been to the west coast once when I visited USC on a recruiting trip during high school. It’s a great city, great people and a first-class organization. Everyone is all about business and success.

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Chaz Green – Path to 2015 NFL Draft: Visits with Dallas, Buffalo, Atlanta, Tampa and Indianapolis

Through the 2015 NFL Draft from April 30 to May 2 in Chicago, Illinois, Florida Gators offensive lineman Chaz Green will keep you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

Green checks in for the fourth time as he continued his on- and off-site visits with NFL teams from across the country.

Right after Pro Day was over, I flew out to Dallas. It was a great trip. I met the whole coaching staff. [Offensive line] coach [Frank] Pollack, after he came down to work me out in Gainesville, it was good to go up there and see him again. I met Mr. [Jerry] Jones, sat down with Coach [Jason] Garrett and had a great conversation. They showed me everything they have to offer and what it means, the tradition behind that franchise. That’s one franchise where you can definitely feel the tradition and history that comes with being a Cowboy. Overall it was a great experience. Everything definitely is bigger in Texas like they say; I definitely felt that while I was there compared to my other trips.

The first day I got there, we went to the stadium and they were actually setting up for the Country Music Awards. We went into the sky box, had dinner, meeting everyone, all the coaches and Mr. Jones. It was all about getting to know everyone and them getting to see you on a personal level.

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Eli Carter to transfer from Florida Gators

Eli Carter, a guard transfer from Rutgers who was made eligible immediately and played one full season with the Florida Gators, will transfer for the second time in his college career, a source close to the program confirmed to OnlyGators.com on Monday.

“I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had here at Florida,” Carter said in a statement released by the school. “I’ll always appreciate the coaches, teammates and fans that made my time here memorable.”

CBSSports.com‘s Jon Rothstein first reported Carter’s move, noting that the player will be immediately eligible in 2015-16 as he will earn his undergraduate degree. The Gators confirmed it later in the day.

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Florida’s Chris Walker declares for NBA Draft

Sophomore center Chris Walker, a highly-touted five-star prospect who struggled to make an impact in two years with the Florida Gators, has decided to leave the team to try his hand at becoming a professional basketball player.

Walker has officially declared for the 2015 NBA Draft, joining junior guard Michael Frazier II, who left the program weeks ago. Walker’s declaration comes two days before the NBA’s Sunday draft declaration deadline.

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Florida Gators DE Dante Fowler Jr., OT D.J. Humphries to attend NFL Draft in Chicago

The NFL announced Tuesday evening that two former Florida Gators football players are among the top 26 prospects that have agreed to attend the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and offensive tackle D.J. Humphries will be live at the NFL Draft when it returns to Chicago for the first time since 1964.

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Miami Dolphins sign Mike Pouncey to extension, making him the NFL’s highest-paid center

Former Florida Gators center Mike Pouncey became the NFL‘s highest-paid player at his position on Friday night when he agreed to a five-year, $45 million extension ($22 million guaranteed) with the Miami Dolphins.

The landmark deal signed by the No. 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft will mark the second league-record contract secured by the Pouncey family in as many offseasons.

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Forward Dorian Finney-Smith to return to Florida Gators for fifth season

The Florida Gators on Thursday announced that forward Dorian Finney-Smith has decided to remain with the team for his redshirt senior season.

“I got all the information I needed to make a decision,” said Finney-Smith after meeting with head coach Billy Donovan, according to a release on the school’s website. “He didn’t pressure me into anything, but rather let me be a grown man. Coach D is a mentor to me, I trust him and I’m happy and anxious to have another year with him.”

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