While March 12 was an important day in the NFL for free agency, it didn’t stop every NFL team from sending a representative to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida to watch the Gators Pro Day.
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd led the Gator class heading into the NFL Draft, being the No. 3 overall prospect by most evaluators. Safety Matt Elam and running back Mike Gillislee are drawing plenty of interest from NFL teams as well.
Floyd had a spectacular Combine running a 4.92 40-yard dash along with showing off his agility in the three cone drill and shuttle. He sat out of the drills for Pro Day because there was nothing else for him to prove. He’s locked in to the top five in the draft.
Floyd will have a private Pro Day for teams on March 22.
Gillislee, the 5’10″, 210 pound runningback failed to impress during his drills. Teams were looking to see an improvement in his 40 time but it didn’t happen. He finished with a unofficial 4.58, after posting a 4.55 at the Combine. In order to improve his draft stock, teams will need to see a time in at least the 4.4′s.
Teams are also looking to see if Gillislee can add strength prior to the draft. Due to his small size, teams aren’t sure if he’ll be durable enough to hold up long-term in the NFL. He managed 15 bench reps at the Combine but didn’t repeat the drill at the Pro Day.
Currently, Gillislee ranks as a back that will be drafted in the beginning of day three. While he possesses good speed, quickness and good ability to cut, teams are unsure about his frame and whether he can handle being an every down back in the NFL. It wasn’t until his senior year at Florida before he was the every down back for the Gators.
Elam, the 5-10, 208 pound strong safety stood pat during the running part of the Pro Day but excelled during the drills showcasing his ball skills. He did very well turning his hips and took great angles toward the ball. Many scouts left very impressed with his lateral movement and range across the field as well.
Elam will most likely wind up in the bottom of the first round and his Pro Day may have solidified himself.
Tight end Jordan Reed only participated in the catching drills on the day but showed off his great hands throughout. He made some one-handed catches, but also grabbed the majority of the balls with both hands and didn’t seem to have a problem securing the ball after the catch.
Like Floyd, Reed will participate in more drills on March 22.
Linebacker Jon Bostic is a player that has a variety of interest throughout the league. He surprised scouts earlier this year with a 4.61 40-yard dash when most people expected to see him in the mid 4.8′s. Bostic was also the fastest linebacker in the 20-yard shuttle and the three cone drill.
Many evaluators were expecting to see more fluidity out of the 6’1″, 245 pound linebacker in the Pro Day and they were not disappointed. He seemed to improve on his drills from the Combine and some teams are moving Bostic up their draft boards per Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports:
Couple of NFL people at UF Pro Day expect ILB Jon Bostic to get drafted ahead of Manti Te’o
— Jason Cole (@JasonColeYahoo) March 13, 2013
Another linebacker trying to get noticed by scouts is Jelani Jenkins. The 6’1″, 237 pound linebacker couldn’t participate in the Combine drills, except for the bench press, due to a broken bone in his foot. His ran an unofficial time somewhere between 4.65 and 4.69 in the 40-yard dash. Jenkins did show some athleticism during his drills which impressed the scouts.
Jenkins does have workouts scheduled with the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers before the draft.