Jordan Reed declares for 2013 NFL Draft

USA TODAY Sports

Florida's leading receiver in 2013 will head to the pros.

Jordan Reed will enter the 2013 NFL Draft, Florida announced through GatorZone's Chris Harry late Friday.

"I’ve enjoyed four good years at Florida, but I feel that now is the right time to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL," said Reed. "I appreciate the support from all the coaches and staff here, and I’ll always be a Gator."

Gator Country had previously reported on December 31 that Reed would enter the draft.

Florida coach Will Muschamp also released a statement commending Reed and fellow early NFL Draft entrants Sharrif Floyd and Matt Elam through GatorZone that may tip Florida's hand on the possible fates of juniors Dominique Easley and Jelani Jenkins.

"It’s been a dream for all three of these players to pursue a career in the NFL and now they are all getting a chance to realize that dream. We are very thankful for their contributions to the Florida football program over the years and we wish them the very best of luck in the pursuit of their dreams."

Perhaps I'm reading a bit much into that, but "all three of these players" seems to me to suggest that Florida will only lose three players to the NFL, and the tone of that statement sure sounds like Muschamp's no longer dealing with the possibility of departures.

Reed led Florida in catches (45) and receiving yards (559) in 2013, and was second among players with more than 10 catches in yards per catch (12.4) and second in receiving touchdowns with three. He is unlikely to be a first-round pick, but could go as early as the second round with NFL Scouting Combine and team workout performances that flash his uncommon athleticism for the tight end position.

And it's a tribute to Reed and Florida's coaching staff that he came to Gainesville as a three-star quarterback recruit from Connecticut and will leave it as an NFL Draft pick-to-be at tight end.

Florida will likely turn to Kent Taylor, who caught Florida's only touchdown pass in a Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville, and Colin Thompson, who redshirted in 2012 after suffering an injury early in the fall, to replace Reed at tight end. Clay Burton and Tevin Westbrook, both used primarily as blockers in 2012, could also get looks at the position.

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