Four Florida Gators, three defensive backs, picked on day two of 2017 NFL Draft

By Adam Silverstein
April 29, 2017
Four Florida Gators, three defensive backs, picked on day two of 2017 NFL Draft

Image Credit: UAA

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft was a relatively slow one for the Florida Gators, but business most certainly picked up on Friday when Florida saw four players — including its three eligible defensive backs — get selected during the second and third rounds.

First off the board was senior safety Marcus Maye, who was selected by the New York Jets with the No. 39 overall pick in Round 2. Maye became the first Gators player drafted by the Jets since 1992 with New York taking safeties with each of its first two picks.

Junior cornerbacks Quincy Wilson and Jalen “Teez” Tabor were picked within eight slots of each other, heading to the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions, respectively. Wilson went No. 46 overall as Indianapolis drafted a Florida defender for the second straight year, and Tabor left the board at No. 53 with Detroit spending each of its first two picks on Gators. The Lions selected linebacker Jarrad Davis with the No. 21 overall pick in the first round.

“You got to have the confidence to play this position and I feel like I definitely have that and that’s why I make the plays that I make,” Wilson said after being picked. “I definitely feel like I can step in and play from day one. … I’m a shutdown corner. I feel like I frustrate a lot of receivers and get them off their games. That’s where I come in and make plays.”

Noted Tabor: “I’m just a very smart player. Very instinctive player. A student of the game, and I think that’s going to correlate well to the NFL.”

Rounding out the day was LB Alex Anzalone heading to the New Orleans Saints with the No. 76 overall pick. He was the only Florida player selected in the third round.

Of particular note Friday was that there were nine defensive backs taken before any of UF’s players. However, Florida saw all three of its players selected in the second round — just as Washington did —
making the two programs the first in draft history with such a distinction. The four Gators selected inside the top 53 picks tied for the most for Florida since 2010. It was also the fourth time in the last eight drafts that UF saw two or more players selected by the same team.

The Gators fell one shy of their record of five players selected on Day 2 as neither redshirt junior defensive tackle Caleb Brantley nor junior offensive tackle David Sharpe were picked. Both were early entrants with eligibility remaining and are expected to go within the first two rounds of Day 3.

Senior defensive linemen Bryan Cox Jr. and Joey Ivie, along with redshirt senior quarterback Austin Appleby, are other potential picks over the final four rounds.

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