Florida’s defense has taken another hit, this time in the trenches.
Defensive tackle Caleb Brantley has announced that he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. He projects as a first or second round pick, pending whichever collegiate all star game he chooses to play in and the Combine.
It’s probably the right decision for him, and it’s not really a surprise, but boy does it hurt Florida.
Brantley has developed a nasty array of maneuvers to bypass the offensive line and get to the quarterback, which makes him a hot commodity among teams seeking playmaking defensive tackles. He figures to go in the first round, and could very well make an immediate impact.
On the flip side, his departure leaves Florida with the unenviable task of having to replace three starting defensive linemen, and both interior linemen, at the same time. Florida’s front seven was fine this past year, but it wasn’t great and it certainly wasn’t deep. So yeah. This hurts.
But as always, I wish Brantley nothing but the best in the NFL. God speed, Mr. Brantley.