GAINESVILLE, Fla. — For the eighth time in nine years, Florida will have a first-round pick in the NFL draft.
And the Gators should have a couple names called on April 28.
Cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and defensive tackle Jonathan Bullard are projected to be first-round selections on the opening night of the draft.
Hargreaves is expected to be a top-10 pick.
“Vernon Hargreaves is as good a player as there is in the country,” UF coach Jim McElwain said. “I don’t know that you ever replace anybody of that talent. He’ll probably be the first corner taken, and rightfully so.”
Florida is trying to fill a huge defensive void this spring, with six starters gone from last season. Bullard may be the hardest of them all to replace because of his leadership and production.
Gators defensive line coach Chris Rumph believes Bullard has first-round talent.
“I think so, but I don’t have a pick,” Rumph said. “He’s just a hard worker, a student of the game, a great guy on and off the field. You’re not going to have to worry about the phone ringing at night or reading something on the ticker. He’s that kind of guy. He can babysit my kids.”