This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.
Good evening, Gators fans!
I’m sending this week’s edition of Chomp a bit late so I could get in the big news from the first night of the 2021 NFL draft: Both Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney were selected in round one.
A couple more Gators, including quarterback Kyle Trask, are expected to hear their names called Friday night.
#️⃣4️⃣ Falcons pick Pitts at No. 4
The Atlanta Falcons selected Florida’s Kyle Pitts at No. 4 in the NFL draft, making him the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history.
“I’ve been waiting for that call my whole life,” Pitts said. “I can’t wait to get to Atlanta.”
Pitts is considered by many the most dynamic player in this year’s draft. He was the first non-quarterback taken after the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, the New York Jets got BYU’s Zach Wilson and the San Francisco 49ers went for North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
Instead of going with quarterback Matt Ryan’s eventual successor, the Falcons opted to add Pitts, who joins an offense that already includes wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
Pitts and Gators coach Dan Mullen were in Cleveland for the draft. Mullen has described Pitts as a “unicorn,” as he’s too big for the fast players and too fast for the big players.
#️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ Giants grab Toney at No. 20
Some had Florida’s Kadarius Toney dropping to the second round of the draft, but the wide receiver known as the “human joystick” proved them wrong when the New York Giants selected him with the No. 20 pick.
“Honored to join the Big Blue. New York, let’s get after it,” Toney tweeted.
Toney is the first receiver taken in the first round by the Giants since Odell Beckham in 2014.
😲 Tight end Tebow?
Former Gators quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow recently asked the Jaguars for a tryout to become the team’s next tight end, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday afternoon -- just hours before the start of the NFL draft.
According to a News4Jax source, Tebow worked out in February for Jaguars coach Urban Meyer, who coached Tebow to a pair of national championships.
Schefter reported that no decision has been made about Tebow’s future with the team.
📺 So let’s talk about that spring football special
Let’s be honest, we didn’t really learn anything about the 2021 Gators from the Florida Football Spring All-Access Show.
It seems that the special was geared toward selling Florida to recruits, while it left many fans yearning for a spring game.
But we did get a look at the long-awaited standalone football facility. We also got to hear from players, including quarterback Emory Jones, who talked about the energy the team had during the first team meeting of spring. Fellow quarterback Anthony Richardson said that Jones, who coach Dan Mullen has said was the starter going into the offseason, is “basically like my big brother.”
📅 Dates set for SEC media days
After a year without SEC media days due to the pandemic, the unofficial start to the college football season will be back this year.
The conference announced the coach appearance schedule for the 2021 football media days, which will be held July 19-22 in Hoover, Alabama.
Coach Dan Mullen and the Gators are scheduled for the first day.
Here’s the full schedule:
Monday, July 19
Florida – Dan Mullen
LSU – Ed Orgeron
South Carolina – Shane Beamer
Tuesday, July 20
Georgia – Kirby Smart
Kentucky – Mark Stoops
Ole Miss – Lane Kiffin
Tennessee – Josh Heupel
Wednesday, July 21
Alabama – Nick Saban
Mississippi State – Mike Leach
Texas A&M – Jimbo Fisher
Vanderbilt – Clark Lea
Thursday, July 22
Arkansas – Sam Pittman
Auburn – Bryan Harsin
Missouri – Eli Drinkwitz
🏈 Zachary Carter poised to have standout season
The Associated Press took a look at the non-quarterback players in the SEC who are poised to have standout seasons this fall.
For Florida, defensive end Zachary Carter will be the centerpiece of a revamped unit.
No one expected the 6-foot-4, 277-pound lineman to return for a fifth year, and Carter’s decision even shocked defensive line coach David Turner, who said: “My prayers had been answered.”
Carter notched 16 ½ tackles for loss the past two seasons, including a team-high five sacks in 2020.
🎂 Happy (belated) birthday, Coach Mullen!
We celebrated the HBC’s birthday last week, so we had to wish Coach Dan Mullen a happy birthday too. The Gators Football Twitter account also showed some love to Mullen on his birthday, which was Tuesday.