Kiper evaluates Florida Gators draft prospects

By Adam Silverstein
January 17, 2013

ESPN insider Mel Kiper, Jr. had a busy day on Wednesday. In addition to holding a conference call with the media (including OGGOA) to discuss prospects ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft, he also released his first mock draft ($) of the offseason as well as his list of top-five players ranked by position ($).

Junior Sharrif Floyd – Defensive Tackle
Ranking: No. 5 defensive tackle
Projection: First round, No. 30 overall
Thoughts: “Sharrif Floyd I thought had a heck of a year. I think he’s solidly in the first round, at worst early second, but I have him in the first. I have no problem with that decision [to leave early] at all.”

Junior Matt Elam – Safety
Ranking: No. 2 safety
Projection: Late first or second round
Thoughts: “Matt Elam, as I said, he could be the second safety off the board. I figure late-one, early-to-mid-two. I have no problem at all with that decision [to leave early].”

Redshirt junior Jordan Reed – Tight End
Ranking: No. 5 tight end
Projection: Third or fourth round
Thoughts: “Jordan Reed can catch the football. I think he’ll have nice workouts. As a tight end he could be a third-, fourth-round pick. Could he have elevated [his stock] a little bit [by staying]? Maybe, but I have no issue with that as well.”

Redshirt junior Jelani Jenkins – Outside Linebacker
Ranking: Outside top five
Projection: Third to fifth round
Thoughts: “Jelani Jenkins coming out…I would have stayed another year and put together the kind of year at full strength that he is capable of. Instead of being a third-to-fifth-round pick, he could have been in the second-round discussion. … [By coming back] he could have put together a great year, stayed at 100 percent [health] and gone through the process, which would mean going to the Senior Bowl and doing things down in Mobile that could help you. I thought Jelani Jenkins could have upgraded over where he was. That would be the only thing I would say about that.”

Senior Jon Bostic – Inside Linebacker
Ranking: No. 5 inside linebacker
Projection: Third to fifth round
Thoughts: “I like the way Bostic hits. I like his range. When you look at him right now, you’re looking at a guy who could potentially… In this draft, if you really look at the inside linebacker position, Bostic could be right in that mix really competing to become the third, let’s say the fourth inside linebacker, at worst the fifth or sixth inside linebacker to come off the board. You have the three that are established … after that, good luck, he’s right in the mix to be the next guy.”

Senior Mike Gillislee – Running Back
Ranking: Outside top five
Projection: Fourth to sixth round
Thoughts: “Gillislee had a heck of a year running with the football. He’s not starter material, I don’t believe, I think he’s more of a back-up, a guy that can help you if he’s forced into that role. We’ve seen what BenJarvus Green-Ellis has done in the NFL, a guy undrafted coming out of college … look what he’s done in the NFL. He’s been a nice player. Gillislee keeps the chains moving. He’s productive; he’s consistent.”

Senior Xavier Nixon – Offensive Tackle
Ranking: Outside top five
Projection: Fourth to sixth round
Thoughts: “Xavier Nixon, there’s certainly a role for him. I think he could push to being a starter in this league, at worst a very, very good backup.”

Redshirt senior Caleb Sturgis – Kicker
Ranking No. 2 kicker
Projection: Fifth to seventh round
Thoughts: None

Florida draft prospects neither discussed nor listed on Wednesday: Senior S Josh Evans, redshirt senior LB Lerentee McCray, redshirt senior DT Omar Hunter, redshirt senior guard James Wilson.

One Comment

  1. Tractorr says:

    Kiper’s comments about Nixon make me question his judgement. I don’t know, I just don’t think that NFL coaches like seeing their QBs blown up when OL let’s a defender run by on passing downs.

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