2018 NFL Draft projections: Where the Florida Gators’ players will land

By Adam Silverstein
April 24, 2018
2018 NFL Draft projections: Where the Florida Gators’ players will land

Image Credit: Jay Metz / UAA

Despite being incredibly busy during the week of the 2018 NFL Draft, longtime analyst Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com sat down with OnlyGators.com for a closer look at the Florida Gators who could be selected Thursday-Saturday in Texas.

Pauline evaluated most of Florida players available in the draft and even provided projections for each prospect who may be selected from April 26-28.

Defensive tackle Taven Bryan
Projection: Round 1
Analysis: “Potential three-technique guy who has to get a little stronger, very explosive, very athletic, can move well sideline-to-sideline. Right now everyone is thinking the Atlanta Falcons, but I haven’t gotten confirmation on that. He’s solid now and could be very good down the road. Defensive tackles usually go early, and they go in large numbers. I would be surprised [if he slid] especially considering the Maurice Hurst heart situation and the fact that he and Hearst are similar type of players. They’re both three-technique types, although Bryan could potentially be a two-gap man in a three-man front in time. I would be surprised if he falls out. I’m not in love with him. Everyone talks about the quarterbacks, and the fact is that defensive tackles always go early.”

Cornerback Duke Dawson
Projection: Round 3
Analysis: “Good. I thought he played a little bit better in 2016 than he did last season. People say he’s a nickel corner, but I actually think he could develop into a starter if he’s properly coached. Right now, I have him as a third rounder. He’s under 6-foot tall, but only by an inch and a half. He still runs in the 4.4s. Maybe a guy that’s got to play back off the line of scrimmage in man-off coverage or zone, but I think he’s going to be a good nickelback if he gets his fundamentals ironed out. He can be a starter at the next level.”

Punter Johnny Townsend
Projection: Round 6
Analysis: “I do like him. I think he’s still going to fall into the later rounds, the sixth-round area, but I think he’s got a better chance of making it at the next level than [Eddie] Pineiro.”

Kicker Eddy Pineiro
Projection: Round 6-7 or signed as an undrafted free agent
Analysis: “He’s OK. Midget kickers tend not to do all that well at the next level. I don’t think he should’ve entered the draft. If he gets drafted, it will probably be in a late round. Very limited body of work, needs to work on his mechanics. … If you’re going to reach for a kicker, you might as well reach for Daniel Carlson of Auburn.”

Wide receiver Antonio Callaway
Projection: Signed as an undrafted free agent
Analysis: “He’s a disaster. I don’t think he’s going to get drafted; I really don’t. Two weeks ago, I said that there were new red flags. Now, NFL.com is reporting that he admitted to smoking weed during the combine. I think, in part, he was afraid that he may get caught, may have failed the drug test at the combine, which some people have told me he did. … I don’t think he gets drafted. Let’s put it this way: [Demarcus Robinson] was more talented, didn’t have as many problems, and he went in the fourth round. [Callaway would be] a top-45 pick [without red flags].”

Defensive back Marcell Harris
Projection: Signed as an undrafted free agent
Analysis: “I liked him also in 2016; obviously, he didn’t play last year. I doubt he’s going to get drafted, but he will get signed as a UDFA. If he’s healthy and he plays well, he can definitely make a team as a dimeback.”

Defensive back Nick Washington
Projection: Signed as an undrafted free agent or given a tryout
Analysis: “Was not rated by scouts coming into the year, but I did have a rating on him after the 2016 season. This kid didn’t impress me at all. He’s going to get into a camp and have to play well on special teams.”

Running back Mark Thompson
Projection: Undrafted free agent; given a tryout

Running back Brandon Powell
Projection: Undrafted free agent; given a tryout

Tight end DeAndre Goolsby
Projection: Undrafted free agent; given a tryout

Quarterback Malik Zaire
Projection: Undrafted free agent; given a tryout

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