Florida Football: 2014 NFL Draft Tracker, Analysis and Results
It wasn't the best season on the field for the Florida Gators, but they'll still send a few talented prospects off to the NFL.
UF's 2014 draft class features three cornerbacks and one potential first-round defensive lineman, Dominique Easley.
They're joined by linebacker/rush specialist Ronald Powell, as well as two late-round offensive linemen.
We'll break down the situation surrounding UF's top seven draft hopefuls. Be sure to check back on draft day to see where these players ended up and how they might fit in on their professional teams.
DT Dominique Easley
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 29 to New England
Weight: 288 pounds
Analysis: Matt Miller was right on with his projection of Easley to New England at No. 29. He's one of the most talented and high-energy defenders in this draft. The only thing that kept him from being selected in the Top 10 was injury issues. If he can overcome that, the Patriots might be sitting on one of the biggest steals of the first round.
Replacement: While it was difficult at the time, Florida gained a leg up on replacing Dominique Easley due to his midseason injury. Former 247Sports Composite 5-star Jonathan Bullard filled in admirably and likely has that same starting slot locked up going into next season.
CB Jaylen Watkins
Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 4, Pick 101 to Philadelphia
Weight: 194 pounds
Analysis: Jaylen Watkins slid back further than expected, taking his second-round grade all the way to the first pick of the fourth. However, he was, as expected, the first Florida corner off the board. The Eagles won't need him to start right away. Even still Watkins could see the field early, as his versatility will allow him to play both corner and safety.
Replacement: Florida will wave goodbye to three to corners: Watkins, Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy. However, the Gators will still be in great shape at the position. Vernon Hargreaves III, who was one of the nation’s top true freshmen at any position last year, will anchor the group. He has been joined by two touted early enrollees, 5-star Jalen Tabor and 4-star Duke Dawson, both of whom will challenge for that second starting slot.
LB Ronald Powell
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 169 to New Orleans
Weight: 237 pounds
Analysis: After adding a playmaker in Round 1, the latter stages of the draft have brought all defense for New Orleans. The Saints added a rush specialist at linebacker in Ronald Powell, as well a strong run defender in California's Khairi Fortt. Powell is very athletic, and it'll be interesting to see how Rob Ryan and Co. use him.
Replacement: It will be tough to replace Ronald Powell at linebacker for Florida. Antonio Morrison will be back to fill one outside linebacker slot, and with Jarrad Davis holding down the middle, the third starting job is up for grabs. Alex McCalister could be the one to take on that role.
G Jon Halapio
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 179 to New England
Weight: 323 pounds
Analysis: After drafting its quarterback of the future, New England is also apparently picking up its offensive line of the future. After adding Bryan Stork at center and Cameron Fleming at tackle, the Patriots completed the trifecta by picking up Jon Halapio at guard. He'll be able to sit and watch behind a veteran line until he's ready for a full-time role.
Replacement: Despite the loss of Halapio, Florida will bring back a very experienced offensive line, featuring three juniors and two seniors. Trip Thurman and Tyler Moore are currently on track to hold down starting positions at guard.
CB Marcus Roberson
Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 3, Pick 82 to Chicago
Weight: 191 pounds
Stat Line (7 games): 11 TAK, 3 PBU
Injuries and suspension limited Marcus Roberson last year and have hurt his draft profile, but he still projects as a solid option at the corner position. His combine measurables were poor as well, particularly his 4.61-second 40-yard dash. He has some playmaking ability, but he also has plenty of room for development. All of this has Roberson's stock much lower than it was a year ago.
Lean, athletic, finesse cornerback who is best deployed in off-man or zone coverage, and has potential to develop into a No. 2 or No. 3 corner if he regains his sophomore form. However, he lacks desirable instincts and tackling ability, and did not elevate his game in 2013 when injuries, suspension and inconsistency marred his junior season. -Nolan Nawrocki, NFL.com
CB Loucheiz Purifoy
Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 5, Pick 162 to Philadelphia
Weight: 190 pounds
Stat Line: 24 TAK, 3.5 TFK, 2 SACK, 2 INT, 7 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 KICK BLK
Like teammate Marcus Roberson, Loucheiz Purifoy hurt his draft stock with a poor 40-yard dash time at the combine. However, he does have the tape to testify positively to his athleticism. He was one of the best playmakers in the nation in the secondary at the collegiate level. He'll need to add size, strength and tackling ability at the professional level.
Lean, fluid, fast, finesse cover man whose raw physical ability and testing numbers belie frustratingly uneven performance. Has starter-caliber athleticism and will buoy his stock when the stopwatches come out, but poor instincts, tackling and tape are reasons for pause. -Nolan Nawrocki, NFL.com
C Jonotthan Harrison
Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 6, Pick 205 to Jacksonville
Weight: 304 pounds
Florida's Jonotthan Harrison is a decent center prospect who boasts impressive durability, as he didn't miss a single start in three years at UF. He's an intelligent lineman, but he'll need to develop both his pass- and run-blocking skills at the next level.
Very good-sized mauler functions well in a phone booth. Possesses the strength and power to match up vs. big bodies. The farther he is asked to move, the more he will struggle and would be best in a man-blocking power scheme. -Nolan Nawrocki, NFL.com