This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.
Greetings, Gators fans!
As the NFL draft approaches, we’re taking a look at possible landing spots for some of Florida’s offensive standouts.
We’re also tracking the moves around the Gators basketball program.
🏈 Pitts in top 5 & teammates reunite in McShay’s latest mock draft
ESPN’s NFL draft analyst released his latest mock draft and there’s a rise for Florida TE Kyle Pitts. Todd McShay mocks Pitts as the No. 4 overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons, saying, “Pitts is just too difficult to pass on.”
The Gators see another player taken in the first round in McShay’s latest mock with WR Kadarius Toney going 20th to the Chicago Bears. Toney is starting to get a lot of buzz of going in the first round by various mock drafts.
In McShay’s mock, Toney wouldn’t be the only Gator heading to the Windy City. He has QB Kyle Trask joining him at No. 52 overall. “He could learn behind Andy Dalton and Nick Foles and be given a chance to develop into a potential down-the-road starter,” McShay says.
🐆 Could Toney end up in Jacksonville?
Now, if Toney is still on the board by the 25th pick, News4Jax sports reporter and anchor Jamal St. Cyr looks at whether the Jaguars might snag him with their second first-round selection.
While WR is one of the stronger positions on Jacksonville’s roster, coach Urban Meyer said earlier this offseason that the Jaguars needed to add a speedy big-play threat.
Toney made a big jump in production last season and NFL.com reports he recorded 27 explosive plays (15+ yards) in 2020. And Gators fans know Toney for his shiftiness -- hence his nickname “the Human Joystick” -- but he showcased his speed too at Florida’s pro day by running a 4.39 40-yard dash.
🖋️ Former OL signs with Panthers
OL Martez Ivey worked out last week at Florida’s pro day as an NFL free agent and was picked up by the Carolina Panthers a week later. The Panthers recently acquired QB Sam Darnold from the New York Jets and will bring in Ivey for depth on the left side of the offensive line. Ivey last played for Florida in 2018.
2️⃣4️⃣ Gators make USA Today’s ‘way-too-early men’s preseason top 25 for 2021-22′
College basketball season ended this week with Baylor capturing the championship over Gonzaga. USA Today looks ahead to next season and includes Florida in its initial top 25 rankings for next season. The Gators come in ranked 24th in the poll with UCLA, Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan and Ohio State forming the top five.
🐊 Gators basketball lands big-time transfer
Guard Myreon Jones from Penn State announced on Twitter that he has committed to play for coach Mike White and the Gators.
Eric Fawcett of Florida Basket Ball Hour says: “Myreon Jones is a talented off ball scorer with great feel. Really crafty moving away from the ball and running off screens and dribble handoffs. He’s going to add a unique dimension to Florida’s offense that they haven’t had recently.”
Jones was Penn State’s leading scorer during the 2020-21 season with an average of 15.3 points per game. In 80 career games with the Nittany Lions, Jones averaged 10.4 ppg.
He chose Florida over Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss and others.
Jones joins recent transfers guard Brandon McKissic from UMKC and forward CJ Fleder from Boston College, along with 2021 signee guard Kowacie Reeves.
🟢 Osifo transfers to Jacksonville University
After entering the transfer portal, Gators power forward Osayi Osifo announced on Twitter that he has committed to play for Jacksonville University next season. He will rejoin former Gators assistant coach, Jordan Mincy, who was hired as JU’s head men’s basketball coach last month.
🟠 Payne transfer to Illinois
Another Gator who entered the transfer portal, forward Omar Payne, also announced on Twitter where he’ll be transferring.
Payne tweeted: “I am excited for my next step at the University of Illinois.”
🏀 Lewis declares for NBA draft
Just hours after I sent last week’s newsletter, Florida guard Scottie Lewis declared for the NBA draft.
In his announcement on Instagram, the McDonald’s All-American said he’s hiring an agent.
“I know that I will be moving on to a new place and if god is willing to a new team but please know that Gainesville and the Stephen O’Connell arena will always have a special place in my heart!” he wrote.
⚾ Baseball beats Stetson & FAMU; No. 6 Vols up next
The No. 12-ranked Gators defeated Stetson 7-6 on Tuesday night at Florida Ballpark behind a solid start from right-hander Garrett Milchin and 13 hits from the offense. The Gators also blanked Florida A&M in their Wednesday matchup, recording 10 runs on their way to the fourth Gators victory of the season versus the Rattlers. The game was called after the coaching staffs mutually agreed to a 10 after seven rule due to the weekend’s schedule for both teams.
The Gators will head to Knoxville to take on No. 6 Tennessee in a three-day weekend series slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday and air on SEC Network+.