While most of the draft talk surrounding the Florida Gators is contained to a certain Jesus-loving, Heisman-winning quarterback, worries of success at the NFL level should hardly be levied solely on Mr. Tebow.
Most likely as a response to the grief Texas players take for under-performing in the NFL, the Houston Chronicle‘s Lance Zierlein took at look at all the Florida Gators drafted by NFL teams since 2001. The results are pretty surprising.
To a man, nearly every pick (save maybe Alex Brown of the Bears) since 2001 out of Gainesville has been disappointing, up until Percy Harvin stopped the bleeding this season. The list of first and second round picks that amounted to nothing has been pretty staggering:
Gerard Warren, Kenyatta Walker, Lito Sheppard, Jabar Gaffney, Mike Pearson, Reche Caldwell, Rex Grossman, Taylor Jacobs, Ben Troupe, Keiwan Ratliff, Chad Jackson, Jarvis Moss, Reggie Nelson, Derrick Harvey, and Percy Harvin.
Other than Harvin, only Lito Sheppard has appeared in the Pro Bowl, and his play could be characterized as up and down. Everyone else on that list has underperformed. That’s not exactly the best track record when talking about important draft picks from one school.
As guys like Joe Haden and Carlos Dunlap project to be taken in the first round — even with major question marks surrounding both — you’ve got to wonder if NFL scouts will take a look at the track record of the Gators that came before them.