Florida’s Johnny Townsend selected by Raiders in 5th round of NFL Draft

Eddy Pineiro #15 and Johnny Townsend #19 of the Florida Gators celebrate after Pineiro hit a 41-yard field goal in the first half during their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Florida’s Johnny Townsend was the 36th pick in the fifth round (No. 173 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.

More about the former Florida punter:

Johnny Townsend
Florida Gators

[Johnny Townsend highlights]

Johnny Townsend is one of the top punters in Florida history. Mel Kiper Jr. rated him as the top punter or kicker in the class. In four seasons with the Gators, he kicked 240 punts for 11,090 yards (46.2 avg.). As a senior, he was a second-team AP All-American and second-team All-SEC honors. If he and teammate Eddy Piniero both get drafted, they would be the first kicker/punter teammates to be selected in the same draft since the draft went to seven rounds in 1994, according to SEC Country.

Scouting report: Townsend has a strong leg, which puts him among the top punting prospects in this year’s draft. He has a lot of experience, too, due to the Gators’ offensive struggles the last few years.

From the experts

“Townsend possesses natural leg strength and can get ahold of punts without seeming to exert much effort. Unfortunately, he has allowed too many return yards over the last two seasons due to a lack of hang time to distance traveled for the punt. While the leg strength is there, he’ll need work on technique and operation time to close the gap between gross and net punts.” – Lance Zierlein

Florida’s Antonio Callaway selected by Browns in 4th round of NFL Draft

Antonio Callaway of the Florida Gators scores the winning touchdown during a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Gainesville. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Florida’s Antonio Callaway was the 5th pick in the 4th round (105th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

More about the former Florida wide receiver

Antonio Callaway
Florida Gators

[Antonio Callaway highlights]

Callaway, a junior from Florida, had a disappointing career with the Gators that’s been marred by off-field issues. He bursted onto the scene as a freshman, racking up 35 678 receiving yards and four touchdowns — one of which being a game-winning score over rival Tennessee — on 35 catches. In between his freshman and sophomore years, he was accused, then cleared, of sexual assault. The next year, he had 721 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 54 catches. But Callaway missed his whole junior year due to alleged credit card fraud. Things got worse for Callaway this week when news broke that he failed a drug test at the NFL Combine.

Scouting report: Callaway showed electric talent while with the Gators, quickly becoming one of their top playmakers on offense. He hasn’t seen the field since 2016. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says, “his character concerns are at a point where they could derail any opportunity for a career. His talent and explosiveness gives him a good shot at making a roster at some point, but being able to stay on track and reach his potential is starting to feel unlikely.”

NFL Combine results
40-yard dash: 4.41
Vertical Jump: 34.0 inches
Broad Jump: 121 inches

From the experts

““Antonio Callaway, on talent, is a first-round draft choice. He entered the year as one of the elite 15 best players at any position, possibly, that were draft eligible. So, the off-field concerns are what’s going to be impacting him. We saw what’s happened with some players over the years that get pushed down, and once the light goes on, they mature and they put that in the past and they move on. They can evolve and develop.”” – Mel Kiper Jr.


Florida’s Taven Bryan selected by Jaguars in first round of 2018 NFL Draft

Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Missouri Tigers looks for running room against defensive lineman Taven Bryan #93 of the Florida Gators in the first quarter at Memorial Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Florida’s Taven Bryan was the 29th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

More about the former Florida defensive lineman:

Taven Bryan | Florida Gators | 6-4/291/DT

[Taven Bryan highlights]

Bryan, a redshirt junior with the Gators, is from Casper, Wyoming. A three-star prospect coming out of Natrona County (Wy.) High, he chose to come east and play for the Gators. He finished his Florida career with 27 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks.

Scouting report: Bryan only started for two seasons in Gainesville, and he could still be a work-in-progress for an NFL team. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein says Bryan is a “talented defender with rare athletic ability and play traits.”

NFL Combine results
40-yard dash: 4.98 seconds
Bench Press: 30 reps
Vertical Jump: 35.0 inches
Broad Jump: 119.0 inches
3 Cone Drill: 7.12 seconds
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.48 seconds

From the experts

“Bryan is a freakish talent who didn’t produce to his ability at Florida; he had only 5.5 career sacks. But there were games (turn on the Texas A&M tape from 2017) in which he looked like a top-10 pick. … Bryan is raw, but he could be a star given time (and coaching) to develop.” – Mel Kiper Jr.

Video: Gators kicker Eddy Pineiro boots 81-yard field goal in practice

Eddy Pineiro #15 of the Florida Gators reacts after kicking a 54-yard field goal during the second half of the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

In one tweet, Florida Gators kicker Eddy Pineiro simultaneously went viral and stripped himself of any excuses for ever missing a field goal.

The former soccer star posted a video from Tuesday’s practice of him belting an 81-yard field goal — 17 yards longer than the NFL record, 14 past the NCAA’s historic mark. Granted, it was an uncontested kick, but it happened with pads on, wind blowing and … oh yeah, 81 yards (!) between him and his target.

If any of this sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because Pineiro posted a video of him connecting from 77 yards in December 2015.

For any skeptics out there, Gators coach Jim McElwain said Pineiro’s 81-yard boot was “a real deal.”

“It’s actually something he did back during spring ball,” McElwain said, via SEC Country. “I don’t know why it took so long to get out here, but it was real. All right? So there wasn’t any doctoring up the yard marker or whatever.”

McElwain said he’s more concerned with what Pineiro does on game days, but that’s also a strength of the Miami Sunset High product. He made 21 of 25 field-goal attempts and all three of his tries from 50-plus yards last season, earning second-team All-SEC honors in the process.

The redshirt junior started his collegiate career as a soccer player at ASA Community College. Once he settled on football, he committed to the University of Alabama but decommitted after several months and signed with UF a day later.

Florida’s Bryan Cox, Jr. to sign free-agent deal with Philadelphia Eagles

Bryan Cox #94 and Jarrad Davis #40 of the Florida Gators try to recover a fumble as Sam Loy of the Vanderbilt Commodores rolls on the turf after dropping a snap during the second half at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

6-foot-3, 265 pounds, DE

Bryan Cox, Jr. is set to sign a free-agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday after going unpicked in the 2017 NFL Draft.


Cox, the son of three-time Pro Bowler, former Dolphin and Super Bowl champion (New England Patriots, 2001) Bryan Cox Sr., had an up-and-down career with the Gators. Cox started for the first time as a redshirt sophomore in 2014, then had hip surgery after the season. Hand and ankle injuries limited him to 11 games (five starts) last year. Over 43 career games, the Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas product recorded 98 tackles, 10 sacks and three forced fumbles.

Scouting report:

Strong and quick off the line, Cox has experience playing standing up and with a hand down. He embraces physical play, finishes his tackles and seems to have inherited his father’s relentless style. He does not possess great lateral quickness, and his average athleticism could limit when and where he’s able to play at the next level. NFL.com notes his ultimate calling might be that of an “interior rusher on third downs.”

NFL Combine results:

40-yard-dash: 4.89 seconds
20-yard shuffle: 4.46 seconds
3-cone-drill: 7.36 seconds
Vertical jump: 26.5 inches
Standing long jump: 9 feet, 1 inch
225-pound bench press: 16 reps

Quote of note:

“You can tell his dad is a coach. He understands the business aspect of playing sports. He’s mature and he’s a student of the game.” — UF Defensive Line Coach Chris Rumph

Career highlights:

Florida’s Joey Ivie selected by Dallas Cowboys in 7th round of 2017 NFL Draft

Blake Sims #6 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes away from Joey Ivie #91 of the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

6-foot-3, 301 pounds, DT

Joey Ivie was the 10th pick in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft (No. 228 overall) by the Dallas Cowboys.


Football won’t be what Ivie remembers most about his college career. In April 2015, he rushed home to Dade City after his younger sister, Jordan, was in a serious car accident. She died in his arms at the hospital. Ivie’s younger brother, Andrew, signed with the Gators to play alongside him but had to give up the sport for medical reasons. On the field, Ivie made 16 starts over four seasons, tallying 80 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Scouting report:

Ivie maximizes his natural tools with a strong motor and great energy. He spots the ball quickly, uses quick hands to fend off blockers and is an active pass rusher. But he lacks lower body strength and can get pushed off his spots by double teams and combo blocks. He does not possess a lot of power or explosiveness for his position and finishing plays was an issue — he missed eight of 74 tackle attempts over the past three seasons, according to Pro Football Focus.

NFL Combine results:

40-yard-dash: 5.14 seconds (at UF Pro Day)
20-yard shuffle: 4.72 seconds (at UF Pro Day)
3-cone-drill: 8.09 seconds (at UF Pro Day)
Vertical jump: 29.5 inches (at UF Pro Day)
Standing long jump: 8 feet, 9 inches (at UF Pro Day)
225-pound bench press: 23 reps (at UF Pro Day)

Quote of note:

“There’s some boom or bust to his game that will make it difficult to stick as an every-down option. Ivie has some pass-rushing ability, but stashing a developmental pass-rusher can be difficult. He’ll at least get a shot to make a roster, and he’ll have to continue on the same progression curve he showed at Florida.” — Pro Football Focus

Career highlights:

Florida’s Caleb Brantley selected by Cleveland Browns in 6th round of 2017 NFL Draft

Caleb Brantley #57 of the Florida Gators celebrates a defensive stop during the game against the East Carolina Pirates at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

6-foot-3, 307 pounds, DT

Caleb Brantley was the first pick in the sixth round (No. 185 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.


Brantley, an All-State first-teamer out of Crescent City in 2012, declared for the draft after an All-SEC second-team effort as a redshirt junior. The compact, powerful tackle tallied 20 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks over the last two seasons, despite being shuffled in and out of a deep defensive line rotation. Brantley was arrested and charged with misdemeanor simple battery less than a week before the draft for allegedly striking a woman and knocking her unconscious during a dispute at a Gainesville bar, ESPN reported.

Scouting report:

Brantley has the quickness to play the three-technique and the power to line up at nose tackle. His initial burst can help him slip past blockers, and he’s also comfortable bull-rushing through them. He isn’t big for an NFL defensive tackle, and it’s hard to tell if his frame could handle extra weight without wiping out some of his quickness. His on-field discipline was already a question mark (10 offsides penalties over the last two seasons), and his off-field trouble raised an unsettling red flag.

NFL Combine results:

40-yard-dash: 5.14 seconds
20-yard shuffle: 4.62 seconds
3-cone-drill: 7.66 seconds
Vertical jump: 27 inches
Standing long jump: 8 feet, 9 inches
225-pound bench press: 21 reps

Quote of note:

“Brantley has the talent and traits that should appeal to both two-gap and one-gap defenses. While we haven’t seen Brantley play in even half of Florida’s defensive snaps in a single year, the talent is there to become an early starter and a defensive force up front.” — NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Career highlights:

Florida’s David Sharpe selected by Oakland Raiders in 4th round of 2017 NFL Draft

Offensive lineman David Sharpe of Florida stretches prior to workouts at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

6-foot-6, 343 pounds, OT

David Sharpe was the 23rd pick in the fourth round (No. 129 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.


A colossal individual, Sharpe packed plenty of activity into his three seasons with the Gators. He cracked the offensive-line reserve rotation as a true freshman, then he took over the starting left-tackle gig on back-to-back SEC East title teams. His size alone is imposing, and his athletic record is already impressive. He was a two-sport star at Jacksonville’s Providence School and ranked by ESPN as Florida’s 33rd-best basketball player in the 2014 class.

Scouting report:

Sharpe’s massive frame is well constructed with length up top and a thick lower base that helps him fight off bull-rush attempts. He flashes active hands in pass protection and knows where to position them. If he strikes first, he can overwhelm opponents and push them out of the play. But mobility is an issue, as he struggles moving laterally and rarely reaches the second level. His limited agility could necessitate a move to guard.

NFL Combine results:

40-yard-dash: 5.44 seconds
20-yard shuffle: 4.78 seconds
3-cone-drill: 7.87 seconds
Vertical jump: 20.5 inches
Standing long jump: 8 feet, 1 inch
225-pound bench press: 19 reps

Quote of note:

“Some teams will see that size and will automatically have him on their board. We aren’t going to just draft the size. Our system requires more movement and if he can’t get to certain blocks, then his size won’t matter for us.” — AFC national scout

Career highlights:

Florida’s Alex Anzalone selected by New Orleans Saints in 2017 NFL Draft

Alex Anzalone #34 of the Florida Gators celebrates a sack during a game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

6-foot-3, 241 pounds, LB

Alex Anzalone was the 12th pick in the third round (76th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints.


Anzalone, a favorite in any Thor lookalike contests, became a regular in the training room and on the injury report during his four years with the Gators. His freshman and would-have-been junior years were both ended by right shoulder injuries, and his redshirt junior season was ended five games early due to a broken left arm. But the former two-way high school star out of Wyomissing, Pa., impressed when he played, compiling 53 tackles (four for loss) and three sacks in eight games last season.

Scouting report:

On the field, Anzalone looks an awful lot like a three-down NFL linebacker. He’s a big, fluid, explosive athlete who can chase down rushers, blitz the quarterback and cover running backs or tight ends. He should be a plug-and-play option in any system with the ability to play inside or outside. Durability is the primary concern here, and one that could see him selected significantly lower than his ability says he should go. His awareness also needs work, as he’s prone to being victimized by play fakes and misdirections.

NFL Combine results:

40-yard-dash: 4.63 seconds
20-yard shuffle: 4.25 seconds
3-cone-drill: 6.88 seconds
Vertical jump: 30.5 inches
Standing long jump: 9 feet, 8 inches
225-pound bench press: 16 reps

Quote of note:

“You saw at (Senior Bowl) practice how gifted he is athletically. He just has to prove he can stay on the field.” — NFC Personnel Director

Career highlights:

Florida’s Jalen ‘Teez’ Tabor selected by Detroit Lions in 2nd round of 2017 NFL Draft

GAINESVILLE, FL – OCTOBER 15: Teez Tabor #31 of the Florida Gators rushes for a touchdown after making an interception during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 15, 2016 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

6-foot, 199 pounds, CB

Teez Tabor was the 21st pick in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.


Tabor, Washington, D.C.’s Mr. Football in 2013, tied for the 14th-most interceptions over the last two seasons (eight) and ranked third during that time span with three interception returns for touchdowns. In three seasons with the Gators, he recorded 33 pass breakups — sixth most in program history. Tabor, who went by Jalen his first two seasons, was a two-time All-SEC first-teamer and a third-team All-American in 2016.

Scouting report:

Tabor’s game film is among the best in this cornerback class. He has prototypical size for the position, the quickness to mimic receivers’ patterns and a knack for making things happen when the ball is in the air. But there are worries he can’t handle the NFL’s top speedsters after some anemic showings in the 40 (4.62 at the combine; 4.75 at his pro day, per NFL.com). He was also suspended at Florida for refusing to take a drug test and fighting with a teammate.

NFL Combine results:

40-yard-dash: 4.62 seconds
20-yard shuffle: 4.22 seconds (at UF Pro Day)
3-cone-drill: 6.99 seconds (at UF Pro Day)
Vertical jump: 31 inches
Standing long jump: 10 feet
225-pound bench press: nine reps

Quote of note:

“I don’t think he’s a lockdown cornerback. He’s a good football player and can cover in our league, but he’s also going to be a pain in the ass for whoever takes him.” — AFC Southeast area scout

Career highlights: