2017 NFL Draft recap: list of selections, UDFA signees and analysis

Thirteen former Florida Gators have found new homes.

Below is a complete list of each player selected and signed as an undrafted free agent; analysis of each is below that.

Florida Gators selected in the 2017 NFL Draft
Player Pos (Rd) Pick Team
Jarrad Davis LB (1st) 21st Detroit
Marcus Maye SS (2nd) 39th NY Jets
Quincy Wilson CB (2nd) 46th Indianapolis
Jalen Tabor CB (2nd) 53rd Detroit
Alex Anzalone LB (3rd) 76th New Orleans
David Sharpe OT (4th) 129th Oakland
Caleb Brantley DT (6th) 185th Cleveland
Joey Ivie DT (7th) 228th Dallas
Florida Gators signed as UDFAs
Bryan Cox DE Carolina
Ahmad Fulwood WR New Orleans
Austin Appleby QB Dallas
Chris Thompson WR Houston
Mark Herndon RB Cleveland

-LB Jarrad Davis (Lions, 1st round, 21st overall)

Davis is an NFL ready linebacker. Detroit needed a third linebacker to complement Paul Worrilow and Tahir Whitehead. And so it was a perfect match for the Lions to draft Davis with their first round pick. Davis is a smart, tough kid who doesn’t have any fundamental weakness and can pursue runners equally as effectively as he can blitz. His physical traits don’t jump off the page at you, but he’s a proven leader who has grew into a star despite that. Barring injury, Davis should enjoy a long, successful NFL career.

-S Marcus Maye (Jets, 2nd round, 39th overall)

The Jets are a mess in the secondary, which was why they took safeties with their first two picks.  In Maye, they got an intelligent, hard working guy who balances patience with aggression depending on the situation. Maye’s off the charts instincts and pure athletic ability should earn him a starting role for the Jets right off the bat, and if he continues to improve at the rate in which he did in his latter two seasons in Gainesville, he could be a Pro Bowler before too long.

-CB Quincy Wilson (Colts, 2nd round, 46th overall)

How Wilson fell to the second round is beyond me, but hey, the Colts will take it. Wilson appears ever so slightly less NFL-ready than fellow corner Jalen Tabor- but oh my goodness, the talent. His size-speed combination alone should be enough to make him a starter right away. Now add his instincts and extremely high intelligence to the mix. He still has a little bit of growing and developing to do (like taking better angles), but he’s got the work ethic to do so and could potentially grow into one of the best corners in the game. You don’t generally say this about guys who just got drafted because of how far into the future it is, but if things break right for Wilson, he could find himself enshrined in Canton when it’s all said and done.

-CB Jalen Tabor (Lions, 2nd round, 53rd overall)

I don’t get how Tabor fell to the second round, either, but with one star Gator defender headed to Detroit, the Lions figured they may as well make it two. I’ve always felt that Tabor was microscopically ahead of Wilson because of his play recognition, as evidenced by three pick sixes in the last two years. Tabor is a master of reading quarterbacks’ eyes and minds, and has made a habit of jumping routes and beating the receiver to the ball for interceptions that look like they were meant for him. While perhaps not quite as naturally gifted as Wilson, he’s still a tremendous physical specimen. Barring injury or something foolish off the field, Tabor shares the “Hall of Fame potential” tag with Wilson.

-LB Alex Anzalone (Saints, 3rd round, 76th overall)

If Anzalone had stayed healthy, he would have likely been a first round pick. The problem was, he never did, and the Saints took a huge gamble here- one that they’ll be celebrating if it pays off, and one that they’ll be kicking themselves for if it doesn’t. Anzalone has great range and can cover most tight ends or tailbacks on passing plays. He’s also a smart kid with an impressive work ethic and will do everything in his power to make the Saints’ selection of him prove to be a steal. It’s unfortunate that his fate may not be up to him, but that’s how football goes.

-OT David Sharpe (Raiders, 4th round, 129th overall)

The fourth round is where projects start to be taken en masse, and there’s no more prototypical one than Sharpe. He’s a monster of a man with tremendous blocking power and can literally throw you to the ground out of his stance if you aren’t careful. But he needs to figure out what to do after the play begins to develop, and if his man survived his initial punch off the snap. If he can improve his footwork and durability, he’ll be a star.

-DT Caleb Brantley (Browns, 6th round, 185th overall)

A pending legal case is the sole reason Brantley wasn’t a Day 2 selection. Once (or if) he clears that hurdle, Brantley can get to work in Cleveland and show every other NFL team what they missed out on five times through the order. He’s strong. He’s fast. He’s smart. He’s versatile. He has a nose for the ball. He can maneuver his way past offensive linemen with a wicked array of juke and spin moves, or he can simply bully his way past them. He needs to grow a little bit more, but once he does- watch out.

-DT Joey Ivie (Cowboys, 7th round, 228th overall)

Ivie is the classic case of a kid with a respectable, yet not overwhelming amount of natural athletic ability, but will outwork everybody else and do anything he can to make a team keep him. He’s fundamentally sound, hungry to get better and is very easy to coach. He’s a likable guy, period, and can at the very least make it very difficult for Dallas to get rid of him. He’s doubtful to become an every down player, and his ceiling may be a special teams player or a situational role player on defense, but his motor and eagerness to improve could very well keep him in the league for several years.

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