Florida Gators in the 2015 NFL Draft

The past few NFL Drafts tell us that Florida still knows how to grab NFL-caliber talent…on all phases of defense and the offensive line only on offense.

  1. Dante Fowler – Round 1, pick 3, Jacksonville Jaguars. Junior WDE/OLB Dante certainly lived up to the hype that comes with being a 5-star prospect ranked Rivals Top 100, #3 WDE in the nation, #5 player from the state of Florida. He was Freshman All-SEC in 2012, second-team All-SEC in 2013, and All-SEC and second-team All-American in 2014. He is tied with DT Gerard Warren (2001), WR Wes Chandler (1978), and Steve Spurrier (1967) for highest-drafted Gator at #3. Dante will earn $4.27M this year without setting foot on the field (he suffered a torn ACL in his first practice) and if he remains healthy he could earn a total of $23.5M on his 4-year contract.
  2. D.J. Humphries – Round 1, pick #24, Arizona Cardinals. Junior D.J. Humphries’ draft stock was hampered by repeated injuries. A healthy season and a competent offensive line coach seemed to be the big difference for Humphries, as well as a good NFL Combine and decent grading from NFL scouts. D.J. was named freshman All-SEC in 2012, was injured throughout most of 2013, and only missed two games in 2014.
  3. Chaz Green – Round 3, pick #91, Dallas Cowboys. Can you believe that Chaz has been around since 2010? Chaz came to Gainesville as a 4-star, 6th-ranked offensive lineman in the nation, but he redshirted in 2010. He was Freshman All-American in 2011, somewhat quiet in 2012, injured in 2013, and a steady performer in 2014.
  4. Matt Jones – Round 3, pick #95, Washington Redskins. This pick is a bit questionable for Washington, since they already have six other running backs. Jones came to Gainesville in 2012 as a 4-star, #11 running back, #137 high school athlete overall. He flashed brilliance and fluidity in 2012, but was hampered a bit early in 2013 by a viral infection and had a season-ending injury after being named to the Doak Walker and All-SEC watch list. Matt Jones and Fred Taylor wreaked havoc on opponents in 2014, and Matt earned the Chris Patrick Courage Award for returning from season-ending injury in 2013. He did sign a 4-year deal with Washington worth $2.95M.
  5. Max Garcia – Round 4, pick #133, Denver Broncos. Max started at Maryland in 2010 after being ranked the #51 offensive lineman in the nation. He also competed in Australia in the 2009 World Track meet. He was a reserve left tackle at Maryland in 2010, and a starting left tackle in 2011. He sat out 2012 due to NCAA transfer rules, but was named Scout Team Player of the Year by teammates. In 2013 he won numerous team awards at left guard and left tackle. In 2014 he was named second-team All-SEC and Fergie Ferguson Award Winner as a center. He also played in the 2015 Senior Bowl. Max signed a 4-year deal with Denver for $2.93M.
  6. Neiron Ball – Round 5, pick #161, Oakland Raiders. Neiron arrived in Gainesville in 2010 as a 4-star, #16 OLB. He enrolled early, and made his mark on special teams in 2010. He sat out 2011 due to an arteriovascular malformation, and returned to start two games in 2012. In his first full season after injury he earned the Chris Patrick Courage Award and gained his first career sack (on Heisman winner Jameis Winston). Unfortunately he was hit with another season ending injury in 2014 in game 9.
  7. Andre Debose – Round 7, pick #221, Oakland Raiders. Andre Debose came to Gainesville in 2009 (!) as a 5-star, all-around athlete who racked up gobs of yards as QB, WR, RB, PR, and KR. He sat out 2009 due to a high school track injury and subsequent surgery. In a record-setting 2010 he was named to various All-American and All-SEC teams on the basis of his kick and punt returns. Andre led the SEC in YPC, and kick returns for TD in 2011. He concluded 2011 as the Gator Bowl MVP. He had a school record for kickoff return average of 28.3 yards per return, but that record was broken by Solomon Patton in 2012. He still owns the Sugar Bowl kickoff return yardage record after his 2012 performance against Louisville. He sat out 2013 after an ACL injury and was redshirted. He earned the 2014 Chris Patrick Courage Award after his second-team All-SEC 2014 campaign. Andre will earn $2.36M over four years ($454k in 2015).
  8. Trenton Brown – Round 7, pick #244, San Francisco 49ers. Trenton came to Gainesville in 2013 as a NJCAA All-American transfer out of Georgia Military College. He started at right tackle and on the field goal team in 2013. He moved to right guard in 2014. He thoroughly impressed scouts in his Pro Day at Florida. Trenton will earn $2.34M over four years ($449k in 2015).

The following players are undrafted free agents, or are fighting for UDFA contracts (3-years, $1.58M; $435k in 2015):

  • Leon Orr. Despite quitting the team, he was invited back on campus for Pro Day, and he earned an invitation to the NFL Combine. He performed well, but not enough for NFL teams to take a chance on drafting him. He signed with the Oakland Raiders.
  • Tevin Westbrook tried out for Miami, was cut, and has signed with Tennessee.
  • Quinton Dunbar signed with the Washington Redskins.
  • Clay Burton signed with the Buffalo Bills.
  • Mack Brown signed with the Houston Texans.
  • Darious Cummings signed with the Carolina Panthers, but has already been cut (as of June 2015).
  • Tyler Moore. Not signed yet (as of June 2015).
  • Kyle Christy. Not signed yet. Kyle will need to show his 2012 leg if he wants to crack an NFL roster. His biggest chance may with Minnesota.
  • Mike Taylor. Not signed yet.
  • Jabari Gorman. Not signed yet.
  • Drew Ferris. Not signed yet.
  • Hunter Joyer has a torn ACL and will not be trying out for a team in 2015.
  • Cody Riggs (transferred to Notre Dame). Signed with the Tennessee Titans.
  • Tyler Murphy (transferred to Boston College). Signed as WR with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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