Ranking Florida's 2020 roster by position - (2021 projection added)

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  1. BMF

    BMF Bad Mother....
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    Ranking Florida's 2020 roster by position

    Ranking Florida's 2020 roster by position


    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Though we likely aren't going to get the luxury of watching Florida go through a normal spring practice to start to form our opinions on how the Gators stack up heading into the 2020 season, we still have a pretty good idea what UF is working with.

    Florida has plenty of veterans at just about every position. That proven production allows us to quantify some baseline expectations, but what about the unproven spots or positions with questionable depth.

    Well, we put together a way to take a look at just how strong each position is, relative to the others.

    We took three different factors into account at each position and graded it on a 1-5 scale, with half-point intervals considered. Judging the unit's front line players (starters and key backups), overall talent and depth, we combined the grades to form a total score.

    Then we looked at how each position came out. Here's our ranking of Florida's position groups, from weakest to strongest, heading into 2020.

    OFFENSIVE LINE
    Front Line: 3.0
    Overall Talent: 3.5
    Depth: 4.0
    Total: 10.5

    The lack of quality front-line talent is really the biggest issue, and it's one of the reasons the group struggled a year ago. The depth has really been shored up on the unit, but most of it is young. Until some of those younger players with a higher ceiling in terms of athleticism, frame and talent begin to emerge, this unit is tough to rank much higher. Florida needs at least a couple first- or second-year players to turn into significant contributors or starters.

    LINEBACKER
    Front Line: 3.5
    Overall Talent: 3.5
    Depth: 3.5
    Total: 10.5

    This is a group that looks fairly average across the board, though it could be bolstered by younger players like Tyron Hopper or Derek Wingo emerging as vital contributors. But even the depth here is a little shaky; there just aren't a ton of bodies here with Amari Burney projected to move over to nickelback. James Houston and Ventrell Miller are serviceable enough as starters, but it would be a stretch to forecast an All-SEC type season from either.

    RUNNING BACK
    Front Line: 4.0
    Overall Talent: 3.5
    Depth: 4.0
    Total: 11.5

    We really like Dameon Pierce as the starter here, but there's not a ton of reason to have a whole lot of confidence in the rest of the group. That with the caveat that we don't know yet whether Miami transfer Lorenzo Lingard will be cleared to play next fall. If he's eligible, the depth looks a little better here, at least. But there are too many guys in the unit that look like just serviceable players, rather than potential stars.

    WIDE RECEIVER
    Front Line: 4.0
    Overall Talent: 4.0
    Depth: 3.5
    Total: 11.5

    The front line talent is relatively good, even if somewhat unproven on a larger scale. Trevon Grimes, Jacob Copeland and Kadarius Toney offer some significant upside. Add four-star freshman signees Xzavier Henderson and Jaquavion Fraziars and the talent overall looks pretty solid. Depth is a little light in terms of proven talent; that'll rely on the three redshirt freshmen emerging as potential contributors.

    DEFENSIVE TACKLE
    Front Line: 4.0
    Overall Talent: 4.0
    Depth: 4.0
    Total: 12.0

    Given the finish Tedarrell Slaton had to the 2019 season and how productive Kyree Campbell was, the front line talent here is strong, though not quite top-notch. The overall talent and depth are harder to judge, because it will be based in significant part on a big incoming freshman class. Gervon Dexter, at the very least, figures to be an early contributor and has top-notch talent. The veterans returning outside of the starters haven't given a ton of reason for any sort of exceeding optimism.

    SAFETY
    Front Line: 4.0
    Overall Talent: 4.0
    Depth: 4.0
    Total: 12.0

    Florida established a clear hierarchy at the position toward the end of the 2019 season, though it still rotated its safeties pretty liberally even so. Shawn Davis and Brad Stewart are quality SEC starters, while Donovan Stiner has provided consistent, high-IQ play at the position. The depth and talent level were both shored up with a large freshman class that has some players who should be able to step in and produce within the next year or two.

    QUARTERBACK
    Front Line: 4.5
    Overall Talent: 4.5
    Depth: 3.5
    Total: 12.5

    Kyle Trask returns as arguably the SEC's best passer, so the top-line talent is quality. The overall talent is also very good, with Emory Jones going into his third season and having some experience under his belt now, and freshman Anthony Richardson just oozing potential. The only real knock on this group is the depth. By Dan Mullen's own admission, he'd like to have one quarterback in every class. Florida's short of that by one man.

    DEFENSIVE END
    Front Line: 4.0
    Overall Talent: 4.5
    Depth: 4.5
    Total: 13.0

    This is a group where the front line talent might actually end up a little better than we have it graded here, but we'd like to see Georgia transfer Brenton Cox in action and Jeremiah Moon healthy again first. But Zachary Carter seems poised for a monster year and those two should at least be quality starters. The overall talent in the unit is really good, with the likes of Khris Bogle, Mohamoud Diabate providing some proven production and several other youngsters shoring up the depth.

    CORNERBACK
    Front Line: 4.5
    Overall Talent: 4.5
    Depth: 4.0
    Total: 13.0

    Florida has two of the league's top cornerbacks returning in Marco Wilson and up-and-coming star Kaiir Elam. That's one heck of a starting duo, even if there are questions about the nickelback role. The overall talent in the unit is also really strong after the Gators have signed two highly-rated classes in a row at the position. Depth is young, but number of bodies certainly shouldn't be an issue.

    TIGHT END
    Front Line: 5.0
    Overall Talent: 4.0
    Depth: 4.0
    Total: 13.0

    To our eyes, there's not a better player on the team than tight end Kyle Pitts. He's an absolute matchup nightmare, giving this front line talent the top grade on the team. Throw in Keon Zipperer and Florida has two high-quality tight ends who should be able to produce at a very consistent and high level in the SEC. The depth is strong in terms of numbers, even if none of the other players jump out as potential superstars like Pitts and Zipperer.
     
    • GatorJ

      GatorJ Hopeful
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      I think safety is way overrated. Running back is slightly under rated. And linebackers slightly overrated.

      The Ventrell Miller almost looked like a can’t miss prospect. Not sure what happened.
       
      • Swamp Donkey

        Swamp Donkey That's the sound your mother made last night
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        :lmao2: yes, quite the stretch.

        Good gawd, @tho . WTF are you smoking?

        People pay for this garbage?
         
        • maheo30

          maheo30 WiLLLLLLLie! WiLLLLLLLie!
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          That has to be one of the greatest pumper quotes I have ever seen. The isolation must be getting to him. Dude is writing articles while stone drunk.
           
          • Swamp Donkey

            Swamp Donkey That's the sound your mother made last night
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            Rating the LB corpse at 3.5 is pretty fugging hilarious too.
             
            • Double Gator Dad

              Double Gator Dad Senior Member
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              Donk and Maheo called out what caught my attention as well

              Donovan Stiner high IQ? What?

              Stiner was caught out of position regularly and even when following his assignments he routinely whiffed when asked to tackle the runner.

              This comment proves that this clown doesn’t watch the games.

              Other than that sack on Fitzgerald at MSU two years ago (when he was unblocked) I cannot recall a big play he has made
               
            • maheo30

              maheo30 WiLLLLLLLie! WiLLLLLLLie!
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              Hopper has loads of potential, but what is his weight? When he arrived, he was a medium-sized safety. He is also learning to play the LB position since he spent most of his high school career at safety.

              Miller actually covered WRs last season step for step 30 yards downfield. He has the good size and elite speed. But, where the hell did he disappear to? He played. He just didn't show up at times.

              Wingo is a 5 star and impressed everywhere he camped. I have high hopes for him.

              Diabate is being moved to LB from what I understand. Like Hopper, what is his weight and how much will the China virus shutdown hurt him learning the position?

              Houston is a poor man's Reese. He isn't as good against the run and is stiff. So much so he is a complete liability against the pass.

              But, help is on the way with our outstanding LB recruiting. :barfaway::barfaway::barfaway:
               
              #7 maheo30, Apr 8, 2020
              Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
              • BMF

                BMF Bad Mother....
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                Miller & Houston are both liabilities when they are on the field. I hope they get beaten out by the younger guys, but knowing this staff they will both play a lot....and expect a big play by the opposing offense.
                 
                • maheo30

                  maheo30 WiLLLLLLLie! WiLLLLLLLie!
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                  Houston’s problem defending the pass is physical. That will never change no matter how smart of a player he becomes. Miller has the ability. Like Stiner at safety, he lacks it between the ears. I’m not impressed by Robinson as a coach. Or, maybe the scheme makes the LBs look bad. I’ll leave that for those who can break things down better than I.
                   
                • BMF

                  BMF Bad Mother....
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                  I'm not going to blame Robinson for our low grade Butters Specials mid 3-star talented LB's. Let's see what he does w/ this younger group first. He's young and probably shouldn't have ever gotten his first on-field coaching job at a UF type school, but I think he's been handicapped w/ the lack of talent. As good as Reese was he didn't even get an NFL combine invite. This younger crop should perform much better than the leftover Butters Specials we still have on the roster.
                   
                  • ltraz

                    ltraz Well-Known Member
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                    We'll bring two Sr starters that'll get drafted and multiple young guys that were rated pretty highly. I think people are sleeping on Dean, who finally gets to play his real position for the 1st time in 3 years. Same if Burney gets to play safety too. I think we'll see guys caught in no-man's land again bc of scheme, but it's about legit a group as you'll see without an All-SEC type.

                    Miller was a 500+ recruit in the nation. Plenty of teams intentionally missed him... He's explosive in a phonebooth, but outside of that, he's average in basically every way. I'd be completely fine with him starting if the other ILB was a stud; especially if it's a super athletic guy like Hopper ir Wingo. But if you pair him with Houston and he's your space guy (bc Houston def isn't doing it), we're not in a great spot.
                     
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                    • ltraz

                      ltraz Well-Known Member
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                      ILB (so he's at LB the 90% of the time we're in nickel) or Sam (so he's at DE in nickel)?
                       
                    • ltraz

                      ltraz Well-Known Member
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                      Essentially, we're asking our LBs to think a lot and do a bunch athletically, but we're doing it with a bunch of guys that aren't too athletic and we rotate so much it hinders their thinking. Hard to blame CR too much IMO unless he's the guy putting in 3rd string ILBs.
                       
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                      • Fishon

                        Fishon Senior Member
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                        I'm no Stiner apologist, but I think he's INT in the endzone against Auburn last year was pretty important. He had a pick against Burrow in '18 after the Stewart pick-6 that allowed us to take a knee.
                         
                      • Swamp Donkey

                        Swamp Donkey That's the sound your mother made last night
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                        Yeah, apparently if you tweet occasionally, no one notices that you dont actually land any linebackers.
                         
                        • Swamp Donkey

                          Swamp Donkey That's the sound your mother made last night
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                          And the 36 TD passes he has given up?
                           
                          • Gatorbait25

                            Gatorbait25 H.E. Pennypacker, wealthy American industrialist
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                            I believe Miller and Diabate will start at LB, and happen to think this experiment with MD will go better than the one with Burney.
                            Diabate definitely has the look and skill of a sideline to sideline backer. The only question for me, is he physical enough to play
                            the position. Shedding blocks from a Tight end or H back is one thing, but what happens when an interior linemen is able to get his hands on you? Can you fend him off, and/or use your speed and athleticism to make plays around blockers? This is the one position group on D that with no spring can really come back to bite us, since we will be playing guys that either have no experience, or limited experience in the position we're asking them to play. Miller isn't terrible, but he's no Reese.Short yardage run defense is going to be a problem for us.


                            I'm with you on Dean and Burney at safety. I don't see any reason why they couldn't be a potential upgrade over a guy like Taylor
                            who started multiple seasons here. We will need them in 2021 to step up for sure. Initially I wasn't fond of your idea of moving
                            Stewart to star, but I think it's something to consider if we are going to keep Marco at corner. Maybe a guy like Johnson can come
                            in and help at star. He reminds me of Pop Saunders a bit, and could have a similar early impact for us.
                             
                            • ltraz

                              ltraz Well-Known Member
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                              He could be though. Reese was fundamentally sound the day he got here. A real 'football player'. Just has molasses muscles. Miller is limited by his frame, but he's got explosiveness so if the football IQ goes up, he could be a guy we're all ok having in. Would be similar to Reese, but with the Vosean ability to get the team fired up with a hit once a game.
                              I'm guessing they were both better before they got to campus. Just slowing down a runner in the open field would be better. Although we don't do it, the interesting thing with them is that they'd bring a true FS/SS combo if the next coach wants.
                              I really like TJ, but our nickel is a hard spot for a true freshman; especially if their strength isn't coverage. Reason being is that is often the fast motion. The nickel has to follow it very quickly and know the new safety/CB alignment without looking. I think either TK or Mordecai are going to give us 2+ years of legit nickel play, but not til 2021.
                               
                              #18 ltraz, Apr 10, 2020
                              Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
                              • Swamp Donkey

                                Swamp Donkey That's the sound your mother made last night
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                                I like the way you're thinking on that point.
                                 
                              • soflagator

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                                He knew they were about to happen.
                                 

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