Bowl Preview – Florida, Louisville

by David Syvertsen


#21 Adrian Bushell – CB – 5’11/187

1st Team All Big East.  Very underrated corner by the public, but I think he is a top 100 pick in April.  Started off at April, transferred to Louisville so he could stay with Charlie Strong.  I really like how fluid Bushell moves in coverage.  Easy hips, light feet.  Can turn and run with most receivers.  Moves well laterally.  Effective in underneath coverage as he moves instinctively.  Fast reaction. Long arms.  Has the tool set to be a very good cover man.  2nd-4th rounder.

#55 Mario Benevides – C – 6’4/280

1st Team All Big East.  A lot of starting experience.  Dropped weight prior to this season to improve his ability in space.  Will need to get stronger before he can play at the next level, but he has potential to start.  Benevides excels as a run blocker at the second level.  He delivers a pop, very balanced and efficient.  He struggles to control engagements with defensive tackles though.  He is not a guy that holds his ground well, will be pushed backward too easily.  In a weak center class, Benevides is near the top. Could be a 4th-6th rounder.


*#73 Sharrif Floyd – DT – 6’3/303

Junior that has not yet declared, but many are expecting him to leave early.  3rd Team All American.  One of the most versatile defensive linemen in the country.  Really like this guy, but don’t think he fits in to every scheme.  Floyd is a Warren Sapp type penetrator.  Explosive and low out of his stance.  Active hands, violent player.  Floyd has been moved around a lot because of injuries to the Gators defensive line over the years.  Has the athleticism to play on the edge.  Excels inside the tackle box.  In the right scheme, he can be a factor.  But he is not a stay at home guy, won’t take on double teams.  Could be a 1st rounder.

*#22 Matt Elam – S – 5’10/202

Another junior that the Gators expect to lose to the draft.  Will be one of the best safeties available in April.  What he lacks in size, Elam more than makes up for in aggression.  One of the more physical defensive backs I’ve seen all year.  Uses a lot of body control though, effective form tackler that squares his man up before he pounces.  Excels in coverage.  Has the ability to man a receiver up and shadow him around the field.  A lot of range in zone.  Can play multiple roles very well.  Likely a 1st rounder.

#23 Mike Gillislee – RB – 5’11/209

Senior that finally got his shot in 2012 and ran with it.  1st Team All SEC.  Came out of nowehere and excelled al yeart against come tough defenses.  Very good skill set for an NFL running back here.  Gillislee is incredibly agile when he is moving at full speed.  Fluid hips, light feet.  Can see the holes before they open up, very good vision.  Gutsy player that impressed me with his toughness at the end of games.  The hidden value here is that he will enter the league with less wear and tear than a lot of guys. He was used a lot for just one year, sparingly in his previous three seasons.  2nd-3rd rounder.

*#11 Jordan Reed – TE – 6’3/243

Not sure what Reed will do, but there is a shot he could come out after his redshirt junior year.  After seeing the success of former Gator Aaron Hernandez, Reed could carve himself a similar niche at the next level.  Former quarterback.  Is starting to blossom as a receiver that creates mismatches.  Very fluid in space, moves like a 210 pound wide receiver.  Accelerates well.  Easy catcher of the football.  Runs routes well.  Competes hard as a blocker but the strength isn’t there yet with his hands.  With where the tight ends are headed in the NFL, Reed as a ton of value in the middle rounds.

#73 Xavier Nixon – OT – 6’6/314

One of my favorite offensive tackles that can be had in the second half of the draft.  I’ve spoken about Nixon a few times, and I think he has had some of the best performances from a season perspective.  Nixon is very light on his feet.  Bends well at the knees and keeps his chest upright.  Average punch/hand strength but he can shield pass rushers well.  He’s been tested in the SEC against the best pass rushers college football has to offer, and he shined.  Nixon has had issues keeping weight on however.  If that can be solved permanently, he is a starting caliber left tackle that can likely be had in round 5-6.

#1 Jon Bostic – LB – 6’1/246

2nd Team All SEC.  Was curious to see Bostic early in the year.  The little I saw in 2011 impressed me.  I was underwhelmed with him this year though.  He looks great in pursuit, has legit sideline to sideline range.  Very physical, very well balanced.  Sends a jolt to the ball carrier consistently.  Bostic is a non factor when a linemen gets his hands on though.  He plays with power when he tackles, but he looks weak and out of place against quality blockers.  Does not play with presence against the inside run.  Could be a nice weak side guy at the next level, but may be best suited for backup duty.  4th-5th rounder.

#9 Josh Evans – S – 6’2/201

Led the Gators in tackles.  Considered by the coaching staff as the best tackler on that team.  Whole watching Elam, Evans stood out to me on a few occasions.  He has great size and length for the position, and he moves well as a cover man.  Fluid and easy athlete.  I like his skill set and I think he can be a starter in the NFL.  Likely a 4th-5th rounder.

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