2019 NFL Draft: Which teams have Gators prospects met with?
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow, and several former Florida Gators are expecting to hear their names called in the widely anticipated annual event.
Gators Territory has already broken down our projections as to when each prospect could be selected, and with every official team visit and prospect meeting in the books, let's break down which teams each Gators draft prospect met with, separated by private visits and workouts, meetings at the NFL Combine, local day invites, and prospect bowl games.
Team names are sorted in descending draft order based on projected round for each player, and are italicized if they held numerous meetings with the same prospect.
This list was put together from a mix of Gators Territory sources, as well as ScouTurf.com's prospect visits tracker.
Jawaan Taylor (1st round)
Private visits/workouts: Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers
NFL Combine meetings: New York Jets, New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns
Analysis: Right tackle Jawaan Taylor has cemented his status as a top-20 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft coming off of a dominant 2018 season, where he allowed only one sack, per PFF. He has separated himself from what is considered a very strong Day 2 group of offensive linemen.
Taylor's visits and meetings range from the New York Jets (3rd overall) to what was the Cleveland Browns' 17th overall pick, before they sent that selection to the New York Giants in exchange for Odell Beckham Jr.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have the earliest pick of team's that have expressed heavy interest in Taylor's services at 7th overall. Considering their need to address the right side of their offensive line, Taylor would make a ton of sense in Jacksonville. But if the Jaguars choose another player, don't expect Taylor to fall far down the board.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (late 1st/early 2nd round)
Private visits/workouts: Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys
NFL Combine meetings: Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs
Analysis: Versatile defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson saw a lot improvement to his game in 2018 in comparison to years past, but his two-interception performance against Michigan in the Peach Bowl firmly put him in late first round/early second round talks.
Gardner-Johnson's meetings start with the Steelers at 20th overall, but things get interesting with a visit to the Seahawks, who pick 21st overall and 29th overall Kansas City could have been a legit contender for CGJ in the first round, but they sent that 29th overall pick to Seattle for DE Frank Clark on Tuesday.
Seattle has a huge need at free safety after losing Earl Thomas in free agency this past year, and CGJ has the range to fill that role. It would behoove Seattle to use that 21st pick on Gardner-Johnson before hitting the stretch of pre-draft visit picks.
Jachai Polite, 3rd round or later
Private visits/workouts: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams
NFL Combine meetings: Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams
Analysis: It's hard to imagine defensive end Jachai Polite being selected any higher than the third round after a miserable draft process, reportedly bombing his interviews at the Combine, testing poorly, and injuring his hamstring.
Therefore, the teams who had Polite in for a private visit following a Combine meeting should be the only teams who'd seriously consider taking Polite before Day 3 of the draft, that being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who pick 70th in the 3rd round, Tennessee Titans (83rd), and Los Angeles Rams (95th and 100th).
The Rams could use more edge help and have taken chances on players with character concerns recently, such as defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and former Gators pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr., so if Polite falls to them at either pick to end the 3rd round, place a bet on Los Angeles taking him.
Vosean Joseph, mid-Day 3
Private visits/workouts: Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams
Analysis: While his draft process has been a little quiet due to injuries ruling him out of athletic testing, linebacker Vosean Joseph has been labeled as a mid-round prospect and has visited at least four teams according to sources. His visit with the Raiders, who hold the 106th overall pick (4th round - 4th pick), and 140th pick (5th round - 2nd pick), went public last week, but the Buccaneers (107th/145th), Bills (112th/131st/147th/158th), and Rams (133rd/169th) appear interested in his services as well.
While the Rams have a gaping hole at WILL linebacker, a position Joseph projects to in the NFL, the Bills owning four picks in Joseph's projected draft range is something to watch for.
Jordan Scarlett, late-Day 3
Private visits/workouts: Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL Combine meetings: Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Analysis: The only team to bring running back Jordan Scarlett for a private visit, on record at least, is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who just so happen to own three 6th round picks in this draft: 175th overall (2nd pick of the round), 192nd (19th), and 207th (34th).
Scarlett has several off-field red flags, which the Steelers have a history of avoiding and/or getting rid of. But they've shown interest in Scarlett regardless, and if they believe he has matured off the field, their need for a backup running back could turn Scarlett into one of their sixth round picks.
Martez Ivey, late-Day 3
NFL Combine Meetings: New York Giants
Other: Atlanta Falcons (East-West Shrine Game), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (local day)
Analysis: A former 5-star, Martez Ivey had huge expectations among arrival at the University of Florida. He entered the starting lineup as a true freshman and never looked back.
The thing is, however, he never really looked forward either. While he looked somewhat improved in 2018 under a new coaching staff compared to years past, Ivey never met the expectations his potential set, despite starting four years for the Gators. However, Ivey carries the perfect "Day 3 project" résumé that should get him drafted, with ideal size at 6-5, 315 lbs, and length that teams drool over at offensive tackle with 36 1/4" arms (97th percentile among NFL OTs) and an 86 1/4" wingspan (98th %tile).
Considering his size appeal, on top of four years of availability and experience vs. SEC talent, and positional flexibility between left tackle and left guard, it'd be surprising if Ivey didn't end up getting drafted at some point as a developmental offensive lineman. The Giants have two picks in the 7th round (232nd/245th) and a big need for offensive line depth. Unless a team that Ivey didn't meet with swoops in, the Giants should be the team to watch.
Other Gators prospects to meet with teams
Fred Johnson, OL: Philadelphia Eagles (Combine), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (local day)
CeCe Jefferson, DL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (local day)
Tyler Jordan, OL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (local day)
C'yontai Lewis, TE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (local day)