Top Gator NFL Prospects Draft Update

he NFL Draft is two and a half weeks away, but deals affecting where Florida players may fall have been coming fast and furious. The most recent move, Washington's trade for Donovan McNabb, puts a new possibility into the Tim Tebow mix.

While more deals can and will happen between now and when teams start selecting players on the 22nd, here's what the latest buzz is for the NFL futures of Florida's first round prospects.

TIM TEBOW - Tebow is the most scrutinized draft prospect by far, with various NFL "insiders" projecting him being selected everywhere from late first round to the fourth round. A few things have helped firm up the picture somewhat though. The McNabb deal not only takes the Redskins out of the Tebow possibilities but also means that Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen will fall past their first round pick at No. 4.

Clausen's inability to work out for teams thanks to toe surgery as well as his general persona have reportedly left a lot of teams lukewarm on the idea of him as a first rounder. If Clausen is selected by a team like Buffalo, that would remove another team linked to Tebow from his list of potential landing spots. Clausen is expected to be the second QB selected, meaning the key to figuring out where Tebow starts to be a draftable possibility may depend on when the Fighting Irish QB is chosen. Someone will trade Washington for Jason Campbell as well, with possible Tebow destinations like Carolina and Buffalo expected to be among those interested. It would likely be better for his market value for Oakland to land Campbell, since the Raiders are not one of the teams linked to Tebow.

The positive effect for Tebow out of the McNabb trade is that Philadelphia becomes a logical destination for him. The Eagles have numerous choices in the range Tebow is expected to be selected, including picks 24, 37, 55 and 70. With coach Andy Reid having shown a willingness to draft developmental QBs as well as tinker with Michael Vick and the Wildcat, Tebow fits well with what the Eagles may be looking for. Reid also clearly isn't concerned about fan or media reaction to his moves, which will be a helpful quality for whoever selects Tebow to have. Other known possibilities currently include New England, Buffalo, Carolina, Seattle and Jacksonville.

JOE HADEN - Haden will likely not be a top 10 pick now, losing his previous likely landing spot at pick 7 thanks to Cleveland trading for Philadelphia's Sheldon Brown last week. He's still considered the top cornerback prospect in the draft though, and it won't surprise anyone if a team looking for help at the position was to move up and get him. Should that not happen, possible fits for Haden could include San Francisco at pick 13, Tennessee at 16 or Cincinnati at number 21.

MAURKICE POUNCEY - Pouncey is considered one of the safest picks in the draft. Teams love everything about his skills, knowledge of the game and character. Interior linemen are typically not high first rounders, so the only question is at what point in round one will someone take the value pick with Pouncey over more glamorous positions and names. Denver is known to be interested and has the eleventh pick, although some speculation there has them trying to trade down and take Pouncey a few spots later. Others who like Pouncey include Pittsburgh at 18, and it's unlikely he's around for Philadelphia at 24. Teams late in the first round hoping Pouncey falls or who may consider moving up to get him include Minnesota, Indianapolis and the New York Jets.

CARLOS DUNLAP - Dunlap's workouts have been solid, yet teams are reportedly skeptical about him as a first rounder because of inconsistent productivity at UF. He won't be an early pick, but given how valuable pass rushers with his size and ability are it's doubtful he'll make it out of the first round even though a number of mock draft gurus are projecting that. Teams where he's being discussed as a fit include Tennessee and New Orleans.

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