Florida has been known for putting out first-round caliber defensive backs and this year is no different.
Last year, it was Vernon Hargreaves III and Keanu Neal. This year, corners Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson are both expected to be first round picks. So what is expected to separate the two in the eyes of NFL evaluators who will be tasked with deciding between two guys from the same school at the same position?
Not a whole lot, if you believe ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. In his first mock draft of 2017, Kiper projected Tabor to go at No. 13 to the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson is projected to go the following pick at No. 14 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Didn’t try to do this, it just worked that way,” Kiper said. “I didn’t even notice it until I finished the first round I had Tabor going 13 and then Philadelphia the next pick taking Quincy Wilson.”
While the two may be very close in draft stock at the moment, Tabor definitely has the advantage over Wilson.
While Kiper views Wilson as the more “complete” corner, Tabor has a play-making ability that gives him the edge. That ability has Tabor drawing comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, who finished tied for second in the NFL with 6 interceptions this season.
“I think you look at Tabor, I think the big play ability that he provides may give him the slightest of edges,” Kiper said. “Wilson may be a little bit more well-rounded. Tabor’s the big play guy, Tabor’s the guy, kind of like Marcus Peters, that type of play. He’s got real good, tremendous ball skills and a nose for the ball, opportunistic.”
Maybe the most interesting thing to watch with how close the two end up is the signing bonus. In last year’s draft, the No. 13 pick received almost $500,000 more in signing bonus money than the No. 14 pick, which could create a bit of a competition between former teammates.