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State of Florida has a lot of college players worth drafting

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It’s early in the draft yet, but there seems to be plenty of talent in the state of Florida for the NFL teams to pick through.

According to, there are some two dozen players who are worth grading by the pros going into the NFL Combine.

Those start with FSU’s Dalvin Cook, rated by the website as the No. 2 running back in the draft and worthy of a top 25 selection.

Other offensive players worth considering should be Miami’s Brad Kaaya, the sixth-rated quarterback. He’s projected for rounds 3-4.

USF’s Marlon Mack was the 19th-rated running back, which should get him into rounds 4-5. Maimi’s Joe Yearby was rated 27th, which translaters into a seventh round or free agency slot. FSU fullback Freddie Stevenson is the No. 2 rated fullback, which places him between round five and round seven.

Travis Rudolph of FSU is rated as the 20th-best receiver, which should be good for rounds 3-4. Miami’s Stacey Coley is 30th, which should put him in rounds 4-5. Miami tight end David Njoku is the second-rated tight end, which puts him in the first or second round.

Florida’ s David Sharpe is the seventh-rated offensive tackle and should go in rounds 3-4. FSU’s Roderick Johnson is ninth and projected from round 3-5. David Isdora of UM is the ninth rated guard, followed by FSU’s Kareem Are at 11 and projected to go in rounds 4-6.

Defense is more confusing, because of the overlap of players. For instance, Florida’s Caleb Brantey is the third-rated defensive tackle but the first-rated nose tackle. FSU’s Demarcus Walker is the No. 8 defensive end and also the No. 8 outside linebacker. Brantley is rated as a first-rounder and Walker is projected for rounds 1-2.

Chad Thomas of Miami is the No. 27 ranked defensive end (rounds 4-6). FSU’s Justin Shank is the 23-ranked defensive tackle, and ranked as a free agent

Jarrad Davis of Florida is the fourth-ranked linebacker and projected for rounds 1-2. Teammate Alex Anzalone is 16th and expected to go in rounds four to six.

Florida had the best secondary in the state, with cornerbacks Quincy Wilson (rated fourth and projected for round one) and Jalen Tabor (sixth and projected for rounds 1-2) and safety Marcus Maye (seventh and expected for rounds 2-3). Others include Miami’s Corn Elder (23rd, rounds 4-6), FSU’s Marques White (26th, rounds 4-6) and FSU’s Rayshawn Jones (23rd, rounds 4-6).

Punter Justin Vogel of Miami is the second-rated punter. He’s supposed to go between round six and free agency.

Of course, the rest of the off-season and the combine could shake the ratings up between now and the draft.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit [email protected]

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