UF loses Tabor, Wilson, Anzalone and Sharpe

Junior DT Caleb Brantley is expected to become the fifth UF player to declare for the NFL Draft in the next few days.

Published on Thursday, 1/5/17, at 10:20 a.m. Eastern.

As expected, Florida juniors Alex Anzalone, David Sharpe, Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson have confirmed their intentions to declare early for the NFL Draft. Junior DT Caleb Brantley is also expected to turn pro but hasn’t yet announced his plans.

In Scout Inc.’s latest mock draft, four Gators are pegged to go in the first round. Senior LB Jarrad Davis is at No. 13, Brantley is No. 14, Tabor is No. 16 and senior safety Marcus Maye is No. 28.

ESPN’s Todd McShay’s latest updated Top 32 (not a mock draft based on team’s needs) had Davis, Brantley and Tabor in the same spots — 13, 14 and 16. However, Maye wasn’t listed in the first round, while Wilson was at No. 25.

Mel Kiper Jr. hasn’t updated his Big Board since Dec. 14. In his latest edition, he listed only the Top-25 players. Brantley and Tabor were the only Gators on it at No. 17 and No. 19, respectively.

Kiper did rank available players by position. Tabor and Wilson were his No. 2 and No. 4 cornerbacks, while Brantley was his third-rated defensive tackle. Davis was his third-ranked OLB, while Maye was his fifth-ranked safety.

After winning the SEC East with an epic win at LSU, Florida lost by lopsided margins at FSU and vs. Alabama at the SEC Championship Game. Therefore, the 30-3 Outback Bowl win over Iowa in Tampa on Jan. 2 as 1.5-point favorites was pivotal for the Gators not only in the looming recruiting battles in the next few weeks, but to stop the bleeding and give the program and its fan base some positive vibes going into the offseason.

Much has been made about how down the SEC was this year, and I agree. In fact, I believe only Alabama and LSU feel really good going into the offseason. I lump LSU in with Alabama because it has finally settled its head-coaching situation and has to feel great about the beatdowns it handed Texas A&M and Louisville to close the year.

Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Kentucky have to feel decent about their seasons, but not great after losing bowl games.

Florida, Georgia and Tennessee avoided disastrous finishes by winning their respective bowl games, but none of the three schools really met the lofty expectations of their supporters.

Now Georgia was in the first year under Kirby Smart, who is killing it on the recruiting trail. We’ll see how McElwain does recruiting-wise in the coming weeks. As for Butch Jones, this clown is on a serious hot seat going into 2017 and he’ll have zero experience at the QB position.

How does Auburn feel about its season? That’s a tough one. The Tigers were absolutely on fire until QB Sean White and RB Kamryn Pettway went down with injuries. They aren’t on great footing, but who knows how their season would’ve turned out without those key injuries?

Four schools facing long and miserable winters are Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Missouri. Kevin Sumlin is undoubtedly on the hot seat.

As for Bret Bielema, just as I said on the Bo Mattingly Show yesterday, Arkansas should be thrilled to have a coach of his cachet. However, when you blow 17 and 24-point second-half leads in your last two games to finish 7-6 instead of 9-4, fans aren’t going to be happy.

I don’t feel Bielema should be on the hot seat, but he’d better go 8-4 during the 2017 regular season.

Mississippi St.? I still can’t figure out what on God’s green earth Dan Mullen was thinking when he passed on a field-goal attempt that would’ve put his team up four and instead went for it on fourth-and-five with a back-up QB coming in for his first play of the game against Miami (OH.).

I don’t have a pulse on what’s going on in Starkville, but at least Nick Fitzgerald will be back.

Tabor penned this farewell to Gator Nation at the PlayersTribune.com.

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