Mayock high on most Gators in 2013 NFL Draft

By Adam Silverstein
April 18, 2013

In exactly one week’s time, the 2013 NFL Draft will commence from Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY. Florida Gators defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, a consensus top-10 pick, will be in attendance but plenty of his teammates will be watching just as intently hoping to hear their names called.

The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the featured analyst on the network’s coverage and one of the most respected draftniks around, is bullish on most of the players coming out of Florida and has given high marks to many Gators during his pre-draft evaluations.

Mayock believes that Floyd, who could very well become the highest-drafted player in program history if he goes in the top three picks of the first round, is the cream of the crop and has him listed as his No. 2 overall prospect.

“That tells you how much I like Sharrif Floyd. What I love about the kid is he’s a prototypical three-technique, a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. His quickness and ability to get up the field and disrupt the pass game is unique for a defensive tackle. If you can get a defensive tackle that can affect the pass game, you got something special,” he said on Thursday.

“He’s also stout enough to play the run. I’ve got him No. 2 on my board. I love the kid.”

Also a potential first-round selection is safety Matt Elam, who Mayock thinks will be selected in the 25-32 overall pick range. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he slid into the second round, but I like him as a first-round safety,” he said.

Mayock addressed Elam’s primary flaw, his height, which is the main reason why he is not a sure-fire first-rounder.

“The only downside is his height and there’s nothing you can do about that,” he explained. “I put the Tennessee tape on and the tight end, Mychal Rivera, beat him down the seam twice. It wasn’t that he beat him down the seam – because it was really good coverage – it was just that they threw the ball up high and Rivera went and got it.

“The only real downside with Elam where teams are concerned is there’s nothing they can do about 5’10” and occasionally you’re going to have to live with that. But on the positive side, you get a kid that tackles, a kid that’s tough, a kid that cares. He’s got better hips than I thought he did, and I think he can play a lot of years in the league.”

Before the evaluation process got underway, many analysts had tight end Jordan Reed pegged as the third Florida player to come off the board. As the draft approaches, however, Reed is sliding down draft boards while inside linebacker Jon Bostic’s stock is on a steady incline upward.

“Bostic has been one of the highest risers in the draft, especially once the coaches get involved. The coaches really like this kid,” Mayock said. “I think he was kind of looking like a late third-rounder. I was at the Pro Day down at Florida. I had a chance to talk to a lot of coaches since, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he went somewhere between about 60-75, late-two, mid-three.”

After Bostic, Mayock thinks the next four Gators will all be drafted in either the fourth- or fifth-round with Reed having an outside chance of being a third-round selection.

“He’s an H-back type of guy, not a great blocker. As a matter of fact, he really doesn’t block. You can tell he was a former quarterback,” he said of Reed. “But he’s got really good speed and hands. I think he’s going to end up going in the fourth round.”

Mayock said there are teams that like LB Jelani Jenkins but simply “not quite as much” as Bostic, which is why he will go in that range. He was, however, quite impressed with what he has seen from both running back Mike Gillislee and S Josh Evans.

“I like Gillissle a lot, and he kind of woke me up at the Senior Bowl. I think he’s one of those guys that does everything pretty well but nothing elite. And he’s kind of sneaky big at 208 lbs,” Mayock explained. “He pass protects, he’s a good receiver, he does everything pretty well. I like him. I think he’s going to go in the fourth- or fifth-round as a jack-of-all-trades and a special teams guy.”

A few analysts actually believe Evans could be a better fit than Elam for a number of teams in the league, which is one reason why he is known in some circles as the “other safety” out of Florida. Mayock thinks he has a definite future in the league and may even one day become a starter.

“He’s a pretty good football player. I think he’s going in the same range – fourth- or fifth-round – as a special teams player,” he said. “And he’s a sneaky-good player who could ultimately, two or three years from now, elevate himself from special teams to competing for a starting spot.”

Though seven Gators being selected would be the most in a single NFL Draft since nine were picked in 2010, Florida also has a number of other eligible players who could be selected late or sign as undrafted free agents. Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, offensive guard James Wilson, LB Lerentee McCray, kicker Caleb Sturgis, defensive end Earl Okine, defensive tackle Omar Hunter, and wide receivers Frankie Hammond, Jr. and Omarius Hines are all options for teams in the latter rounds.

Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press


  1. Joe says:

    Good luck to all!

  2. Michael Jones says:

    Look for Caleb Sturgis, Lerentee McCray, Omarius Hines, and Omar Hunter to make NFL teams. I hope the other guys do too. Go Gators!!!

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