Scouting notes from the road: UK vs. UF

Scouts from several teams gathered in Gainesville this weekend for a Saturday morning contest between the Wildcats and Gators. It is unusual in that neither team offers a standout NFL-prospect this year yet there was still plenty of talent to converse about.

Besides ourselves, many of the scouts in attendance agree Florida has a pair of solid offensive linemen who could make a big move up draft boards if they continue to perform well.  Left tackle Jonathan Colon is a first year starter yet the senior looked very comfortable protecting the blind side against Vincent Burns, one of the SEC's better defensive ends.  Colon, a solid athlete, showed excellent techniques and agility protecting the edge, displaying footwork, balance and leverage.  He could develop a mean streak which would improve his run blocking and at times Colon looks a bit lost (though that may have more to do with a general lack of playing time).  Continued progress and good post-season workouts may push Colon into the very late part of the draft's first day next April.  

The other Gator blocker who looked fairly effective and was the talk amongst scouts was guard Mo Mitchell.  After spending his junior campaign at defensive tackle Mitchell moved back to the other side of the ball for his final campaign.  Mitchell does block with a mean streak and is very strong at the point of attack.  He opened several holes all day for the running game and looked solid in space.  The questions he must answer are old; how much does Mitchell want it and is he willing to pay the price?  While he started off on fire Mitchell is obviously poorly conditioned and wore down as the game progressed.  All were in agreement that Mitchell has the size and skills to be a first day choice next April yet his approach will push him into the late rounds unless he quickly does a 180.

Speaking of the aforementioned Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns, most all who watched him yesterday in press box at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium were in agreement; were he three inches taller and 30-pounds heavier Burns is a first round pick.  The way it stands now, standing just a shade over 6-feet tall, Burns will end up being a late round choice who may only be effective as a three technique lineman at the next level.

There was agreement on another UK prospect amongst scouts; quarterback Shane Boyd will have a tough time making it as a passer in the NFL.  The big armed senior does not do a bad job finding the open wide out on the field yet his accuracy is marginal at best and his decision making is not much better.  Boyd did a solid job carrying the ball on Saturday yet does not carry his 235-pound frame to his reported 4.55 speed in shoulder pads and a helmet.  Running back, strong safety or possibly weak-side linebacker look to be in Boyd's future next summer in an NFL camp.

Keep the name of Ellery Moore in the back of your mind.  Neither scouting concerns ranked the Kentucky defender in their pre-season ratings yet the senior held his own yesterday against Florida, playing end in UK's three-four alignment.  Moore is not a great athlete but worth late round consideration because of his ability to defend the run as a two-gap lineman.

Florida kicker Matt Leach, considered a fringe late round pick, impressed many yesterday hitting on several long field goals in the heavy air at "The Swamp".  While his kick-offs were nothing spectacular someone from the UF program told us he is improving and Leach is working on that aspect of his game.

Several good looking underclassmen defenders stood out yesterday including UK linebackers Raymond Fontaine and Chad Anderson as well as safety Muhammad Abdullah.  Gator end Jeremy Mincey also looks like he has a bright future.

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