These are the school's prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft by status * - denotes 2014 prospect ** - denotes 2015 prospect.
This page was last updated Feb. 16, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Matt Elam*, S, Florida
Height: 5-10. Weight: 205. Projected 40 Time: 4.50. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 1/31/13: There is a lot of upside with Elam. He is a play-maker with excellent instincts. Elam had 76 tackles, four interceptions, two sacks, nine tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and five passes broken up in 2012. He was excellent in run defense, pass defense and laying out some massive hits.
Elam was clutch for the Gators all year, but had a coming out party against LSU. He picked up seven tackles, a forced fumble that turned the game for Florida, and took away a long pass play inside the Gators' 30-yard line.
Elam had some big plays to prevent some possible touchdowns against Texas A&M. He was huge against Tennessee with 10 tackles, one sack, one pass break up and an interception. The junior also performed well versus Georgia, Missouri, Florida State and Louisville.
9/2/12: Elam is an underrated college football player. When watching Florida, he really stands out as a big-time presence who is all over the field. Elam was the top recruit in the state of Florida coming out of high school, and he has been validating that standing through his tenure as a Gator.
Elam earned his first playing time as a true freshman and earned even more as the year progressed. Eventually, he started in place of disappointing junior Will Hill. Elam recorded 22 tackles in 2010 with a sack and a pass broken up. He improved last season and was the best player on Florida's defense. He recorded 78 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, seven passes broken up and two forced fumbles.
Elam is a fast, instinctive playmaker defending the pass in the deep part of the field. He also operates well near the line of scrimmage and is a physical run-defender. Elam has a high ceiling and could turn into a highly-touted prospect in 2013 or 2014.
Sharrif Floyd*, DT, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 301. Projected 40 Time: 4.98. Projected Round (2013): 1-2. 1/30/13: Floyd played really well for the Gators and was a disruptive force. He had 46 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and three sacks. Floyd made a real impact against Texas A&M and Tennessee when Florida's defense played great in the second half to lead to comeback road wins. He also played well against LSU. Floyd ended the regular season with dominant performances versus Florida State and Louisville.
8/25/12: Sharrif Floyd was one once of the most sought after recruits in the nation. He showed the reason why as he flashed some real talent as a freshman in 2010. Floyd recorded 23 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss. The 6-foot-3, 301-pounder was coming on strong at the end of the season.
Floyd was suspended for the first two games last season by the tyrannical NCAA for violations during his recruitment by a school he chose not to attend. The sophomore played mostly defensive end in 2011. He totaled 46 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, one blocked kick and one pass broken up.
Floyd can be a load for offensive linemen due to his power and speed. He has a high ceiling and will be playing more defensive tackle in 2012 - his natural position.
Jordan Reed*, TE, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 240. Projected 40 Time: 4.65. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 2/9/13: Reed played well for Florida this year and showcased some real play-making ability. He led the Gators with 45 receptions for 559 yards and three touchdowns. The team could have gotten more out of Reed, but sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel was inconsistent. Reed had a costly fumble inside the 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter in a close loss to Georgia when Florida was trying to tie the game.
The former quarterback is still developing at tight end and should have returned for his senior season. His blocking needs work. Reed could fit well as an H-back in the NFL.
8/21/12: Jordan Reed is a very good athlete who became a full-time tight end when the Gators started running a pro-style offense last year. He caught 28 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns as sophomore in 2011.
Reed caught only six passes for 79 yards and one touchdown in 2010, but that was because Florida had him playing other positions in the majority of his snaps. For instance, he played some spread-option quarterback and completed 26 of 46 passes for 252 yards. Reed also ran for 328 yards and five touchdowns.
The redshirt junior is also being tutored by former Gators, and current Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez. Reed's stock could skyrocket as the feature tight end in 2012 and 2013.
Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 207. Arm: 30 3/4. Hand: 8 3/4. Projected 40 Time: 4.42. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 2/16/13: Gillislee had a superb senior season for the Gators. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry while amassing 1,1152 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gillislee played hurt, yet helped push Florida to a tough road win against Texas A&M. He had impressive games against Tennessee, Bowling Green and LSU, too. He closed out the regular season by destroying Florida State to the tune of 140 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
The senior has speed and deceptive power. Gillislee is very impressive as a blocker in blitz protection. He really helped his draft stock in 2012 and followed it up with a good performance at the Senior Bowl. Gillislee ripped off some long runs in Mobile.
8/16/12: Gillislee hasn't played much as he had Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey ahead of him on the depth chart, but both of those backs are gone and he figures to be the lead back for Florida in 2012. When Gillislee has played, he has demonstrated some real burst and running ability. Gillislee has averaged 6.3 yards per carry in his career, totalling 920 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Like the previous Gators backs, he is very fast.
Josh Evans, S, Florida
Height: 6-2. Weight: 201. Projected 40 Time: 4.59. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 1/31/13: Evans was solid for Florida in 2012 and led the team in tackles with 83. He also totaled three passes broken up, 2.5 sacks and three interceptions. Evans was a good run-defender and did well in pass coverage. He had 51 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one pass breakup and one interception in 2011. Evans was one of the top safeties at the East-West Shrine and consistently made his presence felt.
Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 243. Projected 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2012): 3-5. 1/30/13: Bostic had 68 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three sacks in 2012. He flashed some for the Gators and was a core player in their tough defense. Bostic is much improved over his junior season.
8/31/12: Bostic had 94 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in 2011. He has played well for the Gators, but should stay in school to get better before going pro.
Big things were expected out of Jonathan Bostic last season, and the junior was a minor disappointment. Bostic was a top recruit out of high school and replaced Brandon Spikes as Florida's featured middle linebacker in 2010.
Bostic recorded 57 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions that year. The senior is a good athlete who plays bigger than his size, although he may want to add weight for the NFL. Bostic could rise with a strong 2012 season.
Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida
Height: 6-6. Weight: 314. Arm: 33 3/4. Hand: 10 1/2. Projected 40 Time: 4.91. Projected Round (2013): 3-5. 2/9/13: Nixon continued to flash good and bad for Florida this year. He has a lot of talent, but isn't consistent. Nixon had a good game versus LSU. He did a good job for the most part against the Tigers' star defensive ends and was excellent as a run-blocker in the final two quarters.
Nixon battled against South Carolina with some good and bad moments against Jadeveon Clowney. Nixon was injured the next week, but played hurt versus Georgia. Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones overwhelmed Nixon, allowing him to have a monstrous performance.
Nixon had a dominant game against Florida State. He shut down Tank Carradine as a pass-rusher and owned him in the run game. The Gators had a lot of success running behind Nixon, including one of Mike Gillislee's touchdown runs. Nixon had a mixed day against Louisville. He has real upside, but must get more consistent to maximize his potential.
The Senior Bowl was a mixed outing for Nixon. He did well as a run-blocker, but had some struggles in pass protection.
8/23/12: Based on skill set alone, Xavier Nixon should be much higher on this list. He is quick, athletic, strong, and plays with good technique. Nixon was a top recruit who has been moved around from left tackle to right tackle, and dealt with some injuries in his first two seasons. He was able to stay healthy as a junior.
Nixon started out the 2011 season well with good performances in the first four games of the year, but after that, he had some major struggles in conference play especially against Alabama and LSU. Nixon would do well blocking either team's edge-rushers before a few lapses would spoil his game. He is a good athlete with a lot of potential and a high ceiling.
Nixon needs to reach his potential if he wants to be more than a third-day draft pick. Nixon is not consistent enough in his run or pass blocking.
Jelani Jenkins*, OLB, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 230. Projected 40 Time: 4.51. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 1/30/13: Jenkins had only 29 tackles in 2012. He broke his thumb against Texas A&M and missed two games due to the injury. The junior came back to play some against LSU before injuring his hamstring. He spent a lot of the LSU game on the sideline and basically missed the next game, against Vanderbilt.
Jenkins was out versus Georgia before playing well against Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette. He returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter in the latter contest. Jenkins had an interception against Florida State before leaving the game after re-injuring his hamstring.
Jenkins' injury-plagued season should have caused him to return to school, but he entered the 2013 NFL Draft. The advisory board told Jenkins he would be a third-day pick.
8/29/12: Jenkins played well in 2011. His sideline-to-sideline speed is undeniable, and he just needs to become more consistent. Jenkins had 75 tackles with six tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and six passes broken up last year. He should stay in school in 2012, if not for two more seasons, to get better and bigger before entering the NFL. The junior is just scratching the surface of his potential.
Jenkins earned a starting spot as a redshirt freshman in 2010. He recorded 76 tackles on the season, which led the Gators front-seven defenders and was behind only safety Ahmad Black on the team. Jenkins also had 4.5 tackles for a loss with one interception and two sacks.
Jenkins has added about 10 pounds of mass under Florida's new strength and conditioning coach. That added weight should help his overall game as well as his draft stock. Jenkins is extremely fast and looks like he has a high ceiling. He needs to continue to add bulk, but could be poised for a big season in 2012.
Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida
Height: 5-11. Weight: 184. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 2/9/13: Sturgis made 24-of-28 field goals in 2012. He had clutch kicks in the season opener against Texas A&M to help the Gators win on the road 20-17. Sturgis was 3-for-3 against Tennessee.
A few of Sturgis' misses came at inconsequential times against Bowling Green, Jacksonville State and Kentucky. He had three field goals against Vanderbilt that were valuable in a 31-17 win. Sturgis was clutch in the regular-season finale, going three-for-three on field goals against Florida State in an 11-point road victory for the Gators.
Sturgis was tremendous at the East-West Shrine. He was nailing kicks in the mid-50s with ease - straight down the middle. Sturgis had plenty of leg while showing a consistent motion to maintain accuracy. He had an impressive collegiate career and looks worthy of a draft pick on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
9/3/12: Sturgis kicked well in 2011, making 22-of-26 field goals and 31-of-31 extra points. He was a Second-Team AP All-American selection. Sturgis was injured for the majority of 2010, and he missed Florida's game last year against Georgia with another injury.
If Sturgis can stay healthy in 2012, he could be the best kicker in the nation. Sturgis was 22-of-30 on field goal attempts and 44-of-47 on extra points in 2009.
Omar Hunter, DT, Florida
Height: 6-2. Weight: 290. Projected 40 Time: 4.93. Projected Round (2013): 6-7. 1/30/13: Hunter was solid this season, but wasn't a difference-maker for the Gators. He had 40 tackles, four tackles for a loss and four passes batted. Hunter stepped up in the regular-season finale for a big performance against Florida State.
8/25/12: Omar Hunter should form a good tackle tandem with Sharrif Floyd this season. Hunter has the opportunity for more playing time with Jaye Howard in the NFL.
Hunter had 25 tackles in 2010 and 31 tackles in 2011. He is one of the Gators' young defensive lineman that is expected to improve this season. There is talent around Hunter, and he could benefit from other playmakers to produce in 2012.
James Wilson, G, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 315. Projected 40 Time: 5.07. Projected Round (2013): 6-7. 2/9/13: Wilson had a respectable season blocking for running back Mike Gillislee. Wilson played well against LSU's defensive tackles, but had some struggles against Georgia. He was excellent versus Florida State and powered open holes up the middle for Gillislee. Wilson is a sleeper prospect who could surprise.
8/24/12: Wilson has primarily been a backup, but he could get back into the starting lineup as a senior. Wilson was one of the top recruits in the nation in 2007. The redshirt senior did not play in 10 games in 2010 due to a knee injury and was granted a medical redshirt early in 2012.
Wilson is a versatile offensive lineman who was around by the Gators� staff as injuries hit the line hard in 2009 and 2010. He is a natural guard who is athletic. Wilson's draft status could be higher if he had been able to avoid further injuries.
Dear Walt, this is becoming prime "mock draft season." And while you have gone the extra mile by including 4 full rounds, I really wish you'd explain why the players are deserving of their draft slots, instead of solely focusing on team needs. It seems like your M.O. to explain for a few sentences why the team would pick a certain position. Then only explain in a sentence or two why the player is worth of said selection. Maybe in Round 4 that'd be acceptable, but for the Top 10-15 picks really should have in depth analysis of the player. That's just my 2 cents. Take care.
I've been on a hiatus with draft work lately and was focused on my Draft Prospect Rankings which you could find in the rants on this site. So, I figured doing one more before the Combine where more prospect movement could occur to see where I stand before and after with those prospects. So, without further adieu here we go!