Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III repped Tampa throughout his three years in Gainesville. Now, he's leaving Gainesville and going home, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Hargreaves hauled in four interceptions in his junior season in 2015, and made plays all over the field for the Gators, showing his versatility and skills as a lockdown corner. Concerns about his size made him a hotly-debated prospect prior to the draft, but the Buccaneers' desperate need for cornerbacks after employing a porous secondary in 2015 likely made that point moot.
And the Buccaneers also had a corner many compared to Hargreaves — Darrelle Revis, whose measurables are similar and whose height is similarly less than is ideal for the position in today's NFL — in 2013, before letting him go in a trade with the New England Patriots. Why wouldn't they go after a player in his image?
Hargreaves is the first Florida defensive back drafted in the first round since 2013, when safety Matt Elam was selected by the Baltimore Ravens. He might not be the last of Thursday night's first round, given recent positive buzz about safety Keanu Neal's stock.
Hargreaves's selection also gives Florida a first-rounder in each of the last four years.