Where Did the Gators Go?

Here is a review of this weekend's NFL Draft in regards to the Florida Gators.

The Gators had eight players selected in the 2002 NFL Draft and that is about the number that was expected. Three others could be in a camp by this weekend via the free agent route. Here is a quick look at the eight draftees.

Lito Sheppard - 1st Round-Phialdelphia
Sheppard was the only Gator in the first round and goes to a team with outstanding corners in Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor. He will start right away as the nickel cover guy and as a return guy along with Brian Mitchell. While some were surprised that the Eagles went corner this is a "best available" pick along with the fact that when teams spread them out (redskins) they can match up with them.

Jabar Gaffney - 2nd Round-Houston
Best case scenario for Gaffney with him sliding to second round. He will start amid lesser expectations. Gaffney is in a group with Sherrod Gideon the second year man from Southern Miss and Jermaine Lewis the return specialist most well known for helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl. He will be motivated by the "slide" and be very productive with Houston.

Mike Pearson - 2nd Round-Jacksonville
Other than having to play for Coach Tom Coughlin this is a great situation for Pearson. He will play left tackle and be given a chance to win the job or free agent signee Todd Fordham. Maurice Williams can move to right tackle if Pearson pans out or stay at left if not. I like Pearson's chance to excel in the zone run blocking scheme of the Jaguars.

Reche Caldwell - 2nd Round-San Diego
Disappointing in that he went this late but once again a perfect situation for Caldwell. Curtis Conway and Tim Dwight return but that is it. Schottenheimer is not a great passing guy but Caldwell should be able to improve this group along with the development of Drew Brees.

Jeff Chandler - 4th Round-San Francisco
Will battle Jose Cortez for the job. The good is that Cortez has been in the league four years and is above average at best. With his salary being higher, Chandler should be able to take the job away. Only 18 field goals and 7 touchbacks on kickoffs last year for the Niners.

Alex Brown - 4th Round-Chicago
Two of the highest paid players on the Bears play defensive end. Philip Daniels and Bryan Robinson will both start. Brown could be a spot player and special teams his first year. He does bring speed to a slow position. If he cannot get in the rotation look for practice squad to gain some weight. This is hard to believe considering last year if he comes out early he is a first day lock.

Andra Davis - 5th Round-Cleveland
Another good situation. The Browns return Anthony Denman a second year player out of Notre Dame at middle linebacker. Davis should make the team and fit nicely into the 4-3 scheme of Butch Davis.

Marquand Manuel - 6th Round Cinncinati
This is a good situation because it is a bad team. Daryl Williams is the only proven safety returning and once again this Gator should make the team.

Robert Gillespie,Tommy Moody and Zac Zedalis should sign free agent deals soon.

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