Through the first three rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft there have only been two Florida Gators who have heard their names called. As if you don't already know, they were: center/guard Mike Pouncey and tackle Marcus Gilbert.
The Dolphins drafting of Mike Pouncey extended the Gators' streak of consecutive years of having a player taken in the first round draft picks to five years. That is tops in the nation by two years.
Speaking of consecutive years, the Pittsburgh Steelers are beginning a streak of their own when it comes to drafting Florida Gators. Some interesting things to note courtesy of the GatorZone Twitter feed, which was rather busy shortly after the Steelers used their 3rd round selection on Marcus Gilbert, were:
That's the 22nd Gator drafted by the Steelers, more than any other NFL team.
That makes 3 Gator offensive linemen taken in the top 2 rounds in the past 2 years.
Check out the Twitter link above for more information about the Gilbert pick and don't forget to click the jump for even more "Chomping At Bits."
There was a lot of discussion amongst analysts on the television, radio, and mock drafts about Mike Pouncey and what position he is going to play in the NFL. There was even some comments and discussions on here as to whether or not Mike Pouncey should play center or guard in the NFL. Well, the Dolphins gave us an answer to that question rather quickly by saying that:
"They’re doing a lot of things with their center that most centers don’t do," Ireland said of the Gators. "They pull him a lot. When he’s trying to pull out in space, he’s getting out so quick that he’s doing something with the ball. I don’t know that we would do as much of that with him as maybe Florida did, but he improved over the season."
How did Pouncey respond? In typical Pouncey fashion, of course:
"I definitely want to play center. It doesn't matter where I play at. Obviously I want to just go out there and work as hard as I can and earn a spot on this team."
Good luck to you, Mike. As we've said before, no matter what position you are playing in the NFL, we are glad you made it.
The news for Ahmad Black wasn't nearly as good as he wasn't drafted on Day 2. That really wasn't unexpected though, especially when you factor in the below average speed he showed at the NFL Combine. Friday night though, he remained upbeat about things...saying:
"I feel pretty good," Black said. "I was a three-year starter at the University of Florida, won a national championship, led the conference in interceptions and the nation once, so I feel pretty good."
That is exactly the kind of the outlook I take as well when it comes to players from UF, USC, Texas, Oklahoma and so on. If you can be a starter for a few years at a big time school, you've got to have some talent, right?
As for the rest of the Gators - I'm looking at you, Will Hill, Car lJohnson, Maurice Hurt and Chas Henry - Day 4 looks to be rather interesting. I also fully expect almost every single Gator who is eligible for the draft, who isn't drafted, to be signed to undrafted free-agent contracts shortly after the draft.
In non-NFL Draft news, the baseball team beat Ole Miss on Friday night by the score of 9-3. They continue the series in Gainesville against Ole Miss on Saturday at 7:00pm (GameTracker here) and Sunday at 1:00pm (GameTracker here). Sadly, neither of the games are on television.
The softball team is in action at South Carolina this weekend. They scored a shout-out victory of the Gamecocks Friday night by the score of 5-0. They continue their series against the Gamecocks on Saturday at 2:00pm. You can catch the game on Sun Sports or via the GameTracker here. The Sunday game against the Gamecocks is at 12:00pm and it will be televised on Fox Sports Florida. Again, if you can't watch the game, maybe you can follow it on the GameTracker which is located here.
Until next time...Go Gators!