Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 1

The 2014 NFL regular season began this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 31 players (14 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the first week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR PERCY HARVIN, Seattle Seahawks: Started | seven receptions for 59 yards (long: 33) [team-highs]; four carries for 41 yards (long: 16), fumble (recovered); three kickoff returns for 60 yards (long: 31)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

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Healthy Percy Harvin runs wild Thursday for Seahawks; Gators NFL depth chart

Hoping to play a full regular season for the first time since 2011, a healthy and rejuvenated Percy Harvin opened eyes on Thursday as a game-breaking wide receiver, ball-carrier and returner for the Seattle Seahawks, which hosted the Green Bay Packers in the 2014 NFL Kickoff game.

Helping Seattle trounce Green Bay 36-16, the former Florida Gators standout racked up 160 all-purpose yards for the Seahawks, 100 of which were from scrimmage. Harvin led his team in receiving with seven catches for 59 yards (including a 33-yard reception, his longest since Oct. 7, 2012) and finished second in rushing with four carries for 41 yards, adding 60 return yards on three kickoffs just for good measure.

Harvin’s game-breaking ability should be a boon for Seattle all season. The 2009 NFL Rookie of the Year is arguably the most electric player in the league, a characteristic many forgot but were reminded of last season when he opened the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII by bringing a kickoff back for a touchdown.

Continue Reading » Healthy Percy Harvin runs wild Thursday for Seahawks; Gators NFL depth chart

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Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 4 + Cuts

The 2014 NFL preseason continued on Thursday with 44 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fourteen teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami and Tampa Bay (four each); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 24 players that saw action along with select updates on some Gators during the fourth week of the preseason.

NFL teams were forced to make final cuts on Saturday as they pared down their rosters to 53 players. Six former Florida players were cut on Saturday, and one more on Sunday, leaving 37 on rosters heading into Week 1 of the regular season.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

TE TREY BURTON*, Philadelphia Eagles: Six receptions [team-high] for 45 yards (targets: 6, long: 21), touchdown
» An undrafted free agent, Burton made Philadelphia’s 53-man roster.
WR SOLOMON PATTON*, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Two receptions for 34 yards [team-high] (targets: 6, long: 25), touchdown; two kickoff returns for 39 yards (long: 20); punt return for nine yards
» Patton, an undrafted free agent, was cut by the Bucs on Saturday.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 4 + Cuts

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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 3

The 2014 NFL preseason continued with 46 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami and Tampa Bay (four each); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 36 players that saw action along with select updates on some Gators during the third week of the preseason.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

DE JAYE HOWARD, Kansas City Chiefs: Started | solo tackle, sack, forced fumble (safety)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 2

The 2014 NFL preseason continued with 46 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fifteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami and Tampa Bay (four each); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 35 players that saw action along with select updates on some Gators during the second week of the preseason.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR Deonte Thompson: Target; three kickoff returns for 188 yards, touchdown (108-yard return)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 1

The 2014 NFL preseason kicked off with 45 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Fourteen teams have multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami and Tampa Bay (four each); Baltimore, Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Washington (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 37 players that saw action along with select updates on a number of Gators during the first week of the preseason.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DB JAYLEN WATKINS*, Philadelphia Eagles: Two solo tackles, interception (one yard), pass defense

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
Continue Reading » Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Preseason Week 1

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LB Ronald Powell signs rookie deal with Saints

Linebacker Ronald Powell became the first of the Florida Gators‘ four draftees to sign his rookie contract, inking a four-year, $2.39 million deal with the New Orleans Saints on Friday.

The No. 169 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Powell appeared in 36 games with 21 starts for the Gators. He registered 84 tackles (55 solo, 19 for loss), 11 sacks, two pass defenses and a forced fumble at Florida, leading the team with four quarterback takedowns in 2013 after missing the entire 2012 season due to a torn ACL.

Powell will earn $462,215 as a rookie in 2014, including a $420,000 base salary and one-quarter of his guaranteed $168,860 signing bonus, which will be paid out over the duration of his contract. His annual average salary is $597,215, which will max out at $732,215 during the final year of his deal in 2017.

“Obviously with all of Powell’s ability, we have a tremendous upside there with him. We’re working with him a great bit. We’re looking forward to really good things from him,” said New Orleans defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

“Right now we’re seeing him as a Sam linebacker. We’re not putting in any special defenses for rookie camps or OTAs. We’re just teaching guys the regular base positions. … He’ll be working at SAM linebacker and he’s doing a good job.”

Continue Reading » LB Ronald Powell signs rookie deal with Saints

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FOUR BITS: Watkins, Halapio, Powell, Horford

1 » Teams understandably praise the players they draft, but Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly went above and beyond simply sharing the standard compliments when discussing Florida Gators cornerback Jaylen Watkins, his fourth-round pick, after making the selection. “Extremely high football intelligence,” he said of Watkins. “He has the speed to play corner, but sometimes when you’re drafting guys, you’re trying to project that maybe he can be this. Obviously, there is evidence of him playing safety and doing it at a really high level. He could be the quarterback of the defense because of his football intelligence, and we just thought that versatility and that football intelligence and character part of it, we thought it was a really good value, especially [on day three]. He’s one of those guys that we were really excited about [Friday] night, where if we didn’t get a great offer then we were going to stay right there and take Jaylen [with the first pick of the fourth round].” Watkins will start out at cornerback for the Eagles, according to general manager Howie Roseman (a Florida alumnus), but could play safety down the road as he develops and potentially adds more weight to his frame.

2 » The New England Patriots jumped at the opportunity to draft Gators guard Jon Halapio in the sixth round on Saturday with head coach Bill Bellichick “a little surprised to see him where he was” still available that late in the draft. While Halapio should make the team and could eventually develop into a starter in New England, he will also help the team’s first-round pick, Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, with his transition to the NFL. “It’s good to have people [here] I’ve been around four years in college,” Easley said in his team press conference. “It makes it real comfortable.”

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Watkins, Halapio, Powell, Horford

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