Howard Becomes First Gator Selected

The first Florida player went off the board on Saturday afternoon. Former Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard was selected in the fourth round to the Seattle Seahawks. The Gators had to wait until the third day of the draft before the first player was taken, but the fifth-year senior got the call.

Jaye Howard was taken with the 19th pick of the fourth round (114th overall). There have been 15 Florida defensive linemen drafted since 2000. Howard is the first one taken since Jermaine Cunningham (New England Patriots) and Carlos Dunlap (Cincinnati Bengals) were taken back-to-back at picks 53 and 54, respectively, in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

"I'm happy to hear that Jaye has been selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft," Florida head coach Will Muschamp said. "Jaye made tremendous strides during the last year to put himself in a position to be a valued pick in the NFL Draft."

Howard was the first Florida player off the board. His fourth round selection is the lowest for the first Gator to be picked since Lawrence Hatch was a sixth round selection of the New England Patriots in 1993.

Howard finished his career at Florida playing in 45 games with 25 starts. He made 131 tackles (80 solo, 51 assisted), 25.5 tackles for loss, 11 quarterback sacks, two pass breakups and three fumble recoveries during his career at Florida.

Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn served as the defensive line coach for the Seahawks before taking his current job in Gainesville.

"Excited for Jaye to have been selected by Seattle," Quinn said. "He put out good tape and worked hard at improving his skills all year. I knew he is excited to go compete for the Seahawks."

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