NFL Gator Update - Part 2

Florida's most successful NFL Draft class is already seeing success. Many of the top picks are already fighting for starting positions on some of the best teams in the NFL.

Haden bolsters cornerback depth- ESPN recently ranked the Browns' stable of cornerbacks as the fourth best in the NFL. Before they drafted Haden, they traded for Sheldon Brown to put with up-and-coming Eric Wright. Now they add Haden, who is wearing the same No. 5 he wore for Florida.

Because of the acquisition of Brown, there isn't pressure for Haden to produce immediately. They will give him every opportunity to be a shutdown corner from the start of the season, but there isn't the same pressure for most top-ten draft picks to produce from the first snap.

Haden won't be able to showcase his full arsenal until the Browns go into full pads, where he can use his physical nature and show off his ability to support the run.

Abram Elam, the older brother of Florida freshman safety Matt Elam, is set to start at free safety for the Browns.

Dunlap takes over early- The Bengals were focused on bettering their pass rush in the NFL Draft, and taking Dunlap in the second round was the first step to doing that. Cincinnati will play six games this season against quarterbacks that threw for more than 4,000 yards last season.

He may get some snaps on the inside of the defensive line to provide a pass rush from there. Organized team activities, or OTAs, are mostly non-contact or minimum contact, so it's difficult to gauge how Dunlap has performed, but Cincinnati seems to like what they've found.

He did have a three-play period of practice where the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Dunlap "would have had three straight sacks had it been a game situation."

Wright fighting for starting spot- The Bears' third round pick has a shot to start at free safety this season. Chicago signed Chris Harris to play strong safety, and Harris has already spent time taking Wright under his wing and showing him the ropes of the NFL. Wright worked with the second team defense

The Bears defense usually keeps their safeties in zone coverage. This means Wright won't be lined up in man-to-man coverage, something he struggled to do effectively in college.

Wright signed a four-year contact with the Bears at the end of May, meaning the team had already signed all of their draft picks by that date.

Hernandez showing off versatility- The New England Patriots signed their fourth round pick in early June. Despite the rumors that failed drug tests caused his draft stock to slip that low, Hernandez seems to have caught on in Foxboro.

During practice, he has lined up out wide as a wide receiver, attached as a tight end and even going in motion as an unattached tight end.

The Patriots have made it clear they will use him multiple ways, just as the Gators did. New England drafted Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski in the second round, but he figures to be used as a more traditional tight end because of his 6-6, 264-pound frame. Hernandez is quicker and has better moves after the catch, so the Patriots could choose to use him to screen passes with.

Cooper pushes for spot on depth chart- The Eagles have often cycled through wide receivers, but this season looks different. The top three receivers, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant, seem locked in their roles. But the fourth spot is up in the air.

Cooper and veteran Hank Baskett are the top two who will battle for the fourth wide receiver spot. Baskett has been a journeyman in his four-year career, playing for three different teams. He signed a one-year deal with the Eagles in March.

In his first NFL season, Cooper could be the favorite to win the job. The Eagles know what they will get out of Baskett on the field. He is a solid veteran who can be counted on, but he doesn't have breakout potential.

The Eagles don't know what they will get out of Cooper when he lines up on an NFL team. They have to be at least intrigued to find that out, which is why Cooper could get the nod as their fourth wide receiver.

If he is the fifth receiver, Cooper should get plenty of time on special teams where his blocking works to his advantage. He could also see the field often in running situations to put a good blocking wide receiver on the field.

Stamper healthy and ready- Stamper signed with the Lions in early June after some doubt whether or not that would happen. In a January workout, the linebacker suffered a back injury and struggled with bulging disks for much of the spring. He wasn't able to work out in Florida's pro day because of the injury, and it may have been the reason he didn't get drafted.

He played three linebacker positions for the Gators and was the team's leading tackler in 2009. Stamper mostly lined up as the weak side linebacker for the Gators last season, but his versatility is what could see him catch on with an NFL team for multiple years.

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