When you’re the first-round pick for a NFL franchise historically known for its defense, in addition to suiting up for your hometown team and where fans watched you grow into an elite college player, just two hours away, living up to expectations can be difficult.
It seems that hasn’t been a problem for former University of Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft who is producing well this preseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ProFootballFocus.com has reviewed the performance of all 31 first-round picks this season and had this to say about Hargreaves, who was touted by most analysts as the best defensive player in the draft.
“So far so good for Vernon Hargreaves III, who has seen two outings this preseason and performed well in both. He has been largely playing in the slot, and has the kind of quick-twitch movement skills and the ability to change direction that makes him perfect for that role.”
Hargreaves, an All-American at Florida and five-star recruit out of Tampa’s Wharton High School, has played 40 snaps and owns 0.0 passer rating allowed when targeted.
- Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, Floyd, the highest drafted SEC player in this year’s class at No. 9, has been working mostly with the second team and apparently hasn’t distinguished himself as a rookie who can contribute significantly.
- Former Alabama center Ryan Kelly hasn’t earned a negative grade for a play yet with the Colts and is working with the first team.
- Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil, the 13th overall pick to the Dolphins, has moved into the starting role and is practicing with the first team.
- Former Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell was a needed pick for the Minnesota Vikings (23rd overall), who wanted a receiver to give them a deep threat for young starter Teddy Bridgewater, but has not produced as well as hoped. Four catches this preseason and has receptions on just 44 percent of passes thrown his way.
- Though not a first-rounder, there’s no doubt former Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott has earned high praise this season for his production in the preseason for the Dallas Cowboys. The fourth-round pick was the best-graded QB in the league in the first week of the preseason. In his first NFL game, Prescott completed 12-of-15 pass attempts for 199 yards with a perfect passer rating of 158.3 against Miami.