The NFL Draft, Day One

I'll use this thread to stay up-to-date on any Gators getting selected in today's NFL draft.

As of right now none of our guys have been selected, but we're approaching the time of the draft that we may see guys like Jarvis Moss and Reggie Nelson get selected.  There have been a lot of rumblings about Denver picking Moss, alongside several rumors of the Jags' interest in RFN.

So far the only surprise of this draft has been the drop of Brady Quinn, particularly past the Miami Dolphins at pick number nine.  I was a little surprised to see the Lions pick another WR, but Johnson was just too great of a talent to pass up on; Imagine the WR duo of Roy Williams and Johnson -- could be a very good one (although we said that about Williams, Charles Rogers and Mike Williams a few years ago).

My thoughts on JaMarcus Russell, who was selected first by the Raiders, are mixed. While I believe he is one of the best overall athletes in this draft, I don't believe he was #1 pick type material at the QB position. While he could have some success getting the ball to Moss and Porter next season, his decision-making and playmaking ability outside of the pocket will get tested quite a bit with that Oakland O-Line. Could be a tough year for him.

Update - 3:00 pm: Finally a player from one of the "big three" Florida school goes in the first round: Lawrence Timmons, LB from FSU, gets picked by the Steelers at #15. Remember when the top 15 was littered with Noles and Canes?

Update - 3:20: The Jags are on the clock, with about five minutes to go until their pick is due. Could this be the time for Reggie Nelson? I think that it makes perfect sense for them to take the hard-hitting safety after losing Deon Grant this offseason.

Update - 3:23: Ok, so nevermind. The Jags have just traded down with the Broncos, so now the Broncos are on the clock for about three minutes. Denver has been speculated to be interested in Jarvis Moss -- although David Harris and Alan Branch from Michigan could be their choice. The Jags must believe they can get their choice at a later pick. The Jags also got a number three and a number six pick from Denver.

Update - 3:27: The Broncos pick Jarvis Moss out of our beloved University of Florida. With the pick Denver picks up the type of pass-rusher that can either line up at the defensive end or as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 set. I think, although it may just me being a homer, that the Broncos got themselves a good one with that #17 pick.

Moss does have a few things to work on; First off would be his strength -- as he came up very unimpressive in the combine on the bench. Most of his strength issues have been due to a mysterious infection-like sickness he fought through early on his career in Gainesville. With a more disciplined conditioning program in Denver he could easily throw on a few pounds of muscle and become more of a physical force.

Another perceived weakness for Jarvis, at least from pro scouts who look at these things, was his lack of moves in the trenches to fight past blockers. In college he used his speed as the main weapon to get to opposing ball-carriers; This may not happen on the same level in the pros, which is exactly why this was looked at as a shortcoming.

Update - 3:50: The Titans just selected Michael Griffin out of Texas, the second saftey taken ahead of Reggie Nelson in this draft. Right now the Giants are on the clock, but it looks as if the Jags could very well take RFN at #21, although Brady Quinn may be of interest to Jacksonville as well.

Update - 4:05: RFN is a Jag. Good to see. Now I'll be able to watch him on CBS sports next Fall. The Jaguars, who lost Deon Grant to the Seahawks this season, really needed to pick up the slack at the safety position -- so this was a very good choice; Reggie was a fan-favorite in Gainesville and has a lot of the physical, play-making tools to be a pretty good defensive player in the NFL.

For anyone who has watched Jacksonville Jaguars football, which I have seeing that it's on nearly every Sunday here in Gainesville, I think that Reggie fits in with this defense quite well. They take pride in dishing out hard hits and really work hard to energize the fans and get into the opposition's heads. Reggie did just that on a consistent basis for the Gators, and I am looking forward to seeing him do it in the pros.

Reggie faced some very good receivers in college, so I think he'll be game-tested when it comes to stepping in and making an impact. While there will obviously be a learning curve when it comes to the speed of the pro ranks, his instincts for flying to the ball will help him and the Jags' defense drastically.

Update - 4:18: Finally, Brady Quinn has been selected. The Cleveland Browns traded up to select the Notre Dame QB. He can now leave his private suite and emerge as an NFL QB.

Update - 9:55: Nothing since the first-round for potential Gator pros. There are several guys left on the board that are possible picks, but we'll more than likely have to wait until Tomorrow to see some of these guys go.

Here's who's left:

Dallas Baker
Joe Cohen
Jemalle Cornelius
Brian Crum
Earl Everett
Steven Harris
Billy Latsko
Chris Leak
Reggie Lewis
Ray McDonald
Steve Rissler
Brandon Siler
Ryan Smith
Marcus Thomas
Eric Wilbur
Deshawn Wynn

Go Gators!

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