With the Florida Gators having a good 2017 NFL Draft class, we look ahead, into the future, to the 2018 NFL Draft. In the 2017 NFL Draft, the Florida Gators had seven defensive players drafted, but only one offensive player. In the 2018 NFL Draft, that could change as the Florida Gators could have more or the same amount of offensive and defensive players drafted. Antonio Callaway, Martez Ivey, Cece Jefferson and Jordan Scarlett are probably the top NFL prospect the Gators have. Here are the early predictions on where the Florida Gators NFL prospects could land.
LT Martez Ivey
Martez Ivey is the first Florida Gators off the board. The incoming junior left tackle has done a very nice job at left guard but with the departure of David Sharpe, Martez Ivey moves to left tackle. Left tackle is Martez Ivey’s natural position and was ranked the #1 OT coming out of high school. With Brad Davis as his new offensive coach, Martez Ivey could become one of top left tackles in the country. NFL teams could look at Ivey and see the size and talent. Plus, teams are always looking to upgrade their offensive line.
Prediction: 1st Round
WR Antonio Callaway
The Gators star wide receiver, Antonio Callaway, could be the first Florida Gator taken in the NFL Draft. Antonio Callaway is expected to have a breakout season with the possibility of better QB play and finally having a complete spring training with the team. All reports on Antonio Callaway is that he has turned into an elite receiver and is expected to have a monster season for the Florida Gators. If Feleipe Franks brings solid quarterback, play this season, Antonio Callaway could have over 1,000 receiving yards and 6-8 touchdowns.
Prediction: 1st-2nd Round
DE Cece Jefferson
The first Florida Gators defensive player off the board will be Cece Jefferson. Cece Jefferson is arguably Florida’s top defensive player and lineman. Cece Jefferson is an incoming junior who should strictly play on the outside instead of the inside. With a loaded defensive end group, Cece Jefferson might be the biggest name in the group along with Jabari Zuniga, Jordan Sherit, and Keivonnis Davis.
Prediction: 2nd round
RB Jordan Scarlett
Here is another Florida Gator player that is capable of having a breakout season. Jordan Scarlett is one of the top running backs in the SEC. Last season, Jordan Scarlett rushed for 889 yards with a weak offensive line. Now with an experienced offensive line group, Jordan Scarlett could rush for over 1,000 yards and rush for 10-12 touchdowns. The SEC is filled with many top running backs and a lot of them are heading to the NFL. Nick Chubb, Bo Scarborough and Derrius Guice are some of the top running backs in the 2018 NFL class. If Jordan Scarlett plays to his top potential, he should be a top 50 pick.
Prediction: 2nd Round
S Marcell Harris
DBU adds another defensive back to the NFL with Marcell Harris. Marcell Harris is an incoming senior and leader of the Florida secondary. He was a four-start safety out of high school. He has had plenty of competition in the Gators depth chart, as he has played behind Keanu Neal and Marcus Maye. Marcell Harris has really emerged as a potential star on defense after ending the season on a very high note. If Marcell Harris plays like he did at the end of last season, he could be an early second round pick.
Prediction: 2nd Round
CB Duke Dawson
DBU continues to add defensive backs to the NFL with the addition of Duke Dawson. Duke Dawson came back to Florida for his senior year to show that he could play cornerback as well as nickel back. As of now, Duke Dawson is Florida’s top cornerback and is expected to lead a young, thin group of corners. If Duke plays well this year, you could see if get drafted on Day 2 but if he struggles, he’ll be a 4th round pick and a nickel back.
Prediction: 2nd-3rd Round
TE DeAndre Goolsby
DeAndre Goolsby is another offensive player that should be taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. For the past several years, the tight end position has been a struggle for the Gators, but that could change starting next season. DeAndre Goolsby is in a solid group of tight ends with C’yontai Lewis and Kemore Gamble. Goolsby has the athleticism to a very productive tight end for the Gators and in the future but he has to do a better job of breaking tackles. Usually, tight ends are tough to take down but that’s not the case for Goolsby. The fourth round is an ideal spot for DeAndre Goolsby.
Prediction: 4th Round
DE Jordan Sherit
Jordan Sherit is another defensive lineman that is expected to have a good senior year but his biggest issue is health. The incoming senior missed all spring due to a knee injury which could affect his play. He is expected to be healthy for the summer and fall but he needed to practice in the spring to prepare for the 2017 season. Jordan Sherit is an explosive player who does a nice job of getting the QB quickly with his speed.
Prediction: 4th-5th Round
S Nick Washington
DBU just continues to breed NFL talent as Nick Washington will likely hear his name be called in the 2018 NFL Draft. The senior safety will help Marcell Harris lead the young Florida secondary. Nick Washington has always been known for his ball-hawking skills and hands. He is a solid run stopper but he needs to work on his recovery ability and hip flexibility.
Prediction: 5th Round
P Johnny Townsend
Punters usually don’t get drafted but Johnny Townsend isn’t your average punter. Johnny Townsend is probably the top punter and front-runner for the Ray Guy Award. Punters don’t go very high in the draft but Johnny Townsend should be drafted late in the NFL Draft. He’s too good of the punter to go undrafted.