NFL Draft 2013: Sharrif Floyd to Colts, Matt Elam to Patriots?

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

SI.com's first mock 2013 NFL Draft has two Gators going in the first round, and becoming rivals.

The 2013 NFL Draft mocks are starting to trickle out of even the outlets that don't cover the NFL Draft on a year-round basis, and SI.com's Don Banks has an interesting one out this week: His mock draft has Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd headed to the Indianapolis Colts with the No. 24 pick, and safety Matt Elam joining the New England Patriots at No. 28.

Here's what Banks has to say about Floyd:

The Colts need more talent up front in the second year of their new-ish 3-4 defense, and Floyd's ability to play inside and at end has to put him on Indy's radar. He'll likely come off the board somewhere between No. 18 Dallas (also going to the 4-3) and the No. 24 Colts.

It's strange, because it feels like Floyd could be a player like Corey Simon was for the Colts, effectively transitioning them from the dark years of having Peyton Manning and an FSU product to having one of the most beloved Gators of the modern era.

Banks' Elam-to-the-Pats projection relies on the same "Bill Belichick likes Urban Meyer's players" philosophy that has been true for the last five years:

As the playoff loss to the Ravens proved, the Patriots still have their seemingly never-ending issues in the secondary. Elam is a solid value in the latter stages of the first round, and his nose for the football would upgrade New England at safety, where the Pats tend to take a makeshift approach at times. And, of course, Bill Belichick loves him some Florida Gators.

In any case, it seems more and more likely that Florida will have two first-round picks in the NFL Draft come April. After a 2012 NFL Draft that saw no Gator taken until Jaye Howard came off the board in the fourth round, that would be a welcome change.

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