JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft saw just one local player selected.
Round 2 was much different.
Former Gators safety Marcus Maye returned to Gainesville for his senior year and was rewarded by being selected by the New York Jets with the 39th overall selection. After being named an All-American by USA Today after his junior year in which he had 82 tackles and 2 interceptions, he returned for his senior year. Despite missing the final four games of the year with a broken arm, Maye was still named to the All-SEC second team.
Many thought that former FSU running back Dalvin Cook would be taken in the 1st round. The Seminoles all-time leading rusher would have to wait until the 41st overall selection by Minnesota to have his name called. The Vikings were in need of a running back after letting Adrian Peterson sign with New Orleans in the offseason and traded up seven spots in the 2nd round to select Cook.
It took only five more selections until a second Florida defensive back was taken off the board. Quincy Wilson will have the opportunity to play the Blake Bortles and the Jaguars twice a year after he was selected 45th overall by the Indianapolis Colts. Like Maye, Wilson returned to the Gators for his senior season and had 3.5 tackles for a loss, 2 interceptions and 6 pass breakups while earning All-SEC second team honors.
Demarcus Walker's selection at number 51 overall by the Denver Broncos made him the second player from Sandalwood High School to be drafted into the NFL. Daryl Richardson was drafted by the Rams in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Walker was named a first team All-American after his senior season in which he was second in the nation with 16.5 sacks.
After running a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash at the combine, former Gators cornerback Teez Tabor saw his stock fall. Luckily for him, he only fell to the Detroit Lions at number 53 overall in the 2nd round. He joins fellow Gator Jarrad Davis who was drafted 21st overall by the Lions in the 1st round. Tabor had eight interceptions and two touchdowns in his last two years at Florida which he was named All-SEC both years.
Round 3 saw the fourth Florida Gator to come off the board as linebacker Alex Anzalone was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 76th overall selection. Anzalone struggled with shoulder injuries throughout his Gators career, missing his junior year after needing surgery after the second game of the year. Anzalone started eight games of his senior year before suffering a broken arm, forcing him to miss the rest of the season.