Scouting the SEC: Florida

An unusual campaign is coming up in Gainesville - a lot of questions with big holes in what are traditionally strong positions. A program that has put a lot of talent into the draft's first round may struggle to have a top 62 pick next April.

Going against the norm, there are no single standouts on offense. Instead of numbers at the skill positions, two linemen and a tight end head the crew of pro prospects. Ben Troupe played through an injury-plagued season as a junior yet is a complete tight end that dominates as a blocker and displays surprising pass catching skills at the top of his game. He's not one to make plays down the field but could be a better version of Erron Kinney, who's had success with the Titans. 

Max Starks is a big-bodied, powerful lineman who made the move from right to left tackle last year. While Starks did an admirable job for the Gators, his home in the NFL is on the strongside and he'll be playing right guard as a senior. A big campaign and solid pre-draft workouts could move him into the top forty-five. 

Guard Shannon Snell likes to talk a lot but also backs it up with solid play. A dominant run blocker, he's best in confined quarters and can only be used in a limited number of blocking schemes.

 Ran Carthon takes over the ball handling duties and, though a nice back on the college level, has no outstanding single skill for the pro game. He's neither strong for the inside nor fast enough to run outside of tackle. 

Carlos Perez could catch on as a fourth receiver at the next level.

On defense the talent is not much better. Senior Bobby McRay is a solid pass rusher but a tall, angular lineman that has trouble against the run. He looks to have some growth potential, which must be met. 

Matt Farrior was a productive linebacker for Florida until injury slowed him last season. A good campaign in '03 could get him an invite to the Senior Bowl and from there he could make some waves.

Were there one prospect that could break into the early part of round one it would be corner Keiwan Ratliff, a player that will also see plenty of action at receiver this year. Ratliff is a solid cover corner, best backed-off the line and a defensive back with good ball skills. 

Safety Guss Scott has a good head for the position and always makes positive plays but is neither explosive nor shows the top playing speed. Defensive tackle Mo Mitchell has a good degree of upside.


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