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NFL Scouting Combine player preview: Florida

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By: Hayden Reel

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Struggling Gators send just two players to the combine.

After a 5 win season, the Florida Gators will send just two players to the NFL Scouting Combine in 2024. These players being wide receiver Ricky Pearsall and center Kingsley Eguakun. The New Orleans Saints have had a good track record drafting Gators recently, as the last two they have taken were Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Alex Anzalone, two solid players who were perhaps cut free too soon. The two players from Florida at the combine this year are unlikely to be taken in the first round, so the Saints will not have to do much maneuvering if they take a liking to either of them.

Tennessee v Florida
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Kingsley Eguakun – C

Eguakun missed eight games in 2023, and the Gators offensive line suffered because of it. Measuring at 6’3” 300 pounds, Eguakun started 26 straight games between 2022-2021, so the injuries he suffered in 2023 should not dissuade any team who is in need of a center. Eguakun allowed the first sack of his career in 2023 and allowed just 6 QB hits in over 1,900 snaps at Florida. He ranks #10 among centers on Mel Kiper’s latest big board, which is understandable considering we did not see much of him this year, but given his track record the previous two years any team that drafts him should get a potential starter at center.

The Saints are unlikely to target him however, as Erik McCoy is more than capable option at center and has been his entire career. McCoy is just 26 years old and under contract until 2027, so unless the Saints feel they need a stable backup at center it is unlikely they will call Eguakun’s name.

Charlotte v Florida
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Ricky Pearsall – WR

The Gators leading receiver in 2023 caught 65 passes for 965 yards and 4 touchdowns in his senior season, and also led Florida in 2022 with 661 yards. Pearsall transferred to Florida after one year starting at Arizona State, and was chosen to wear #1 for the Gators his senior season, a number traditionally given to the teams top receiver and previously worn by players such as Kadarius Toney and Percy Harvin. Pearsall is expected to be a middle round pick, and is your prototypical possession receiver. He has sure hands, highlighted by making arguably the best catch of the college football season last year, and is a good route runner from the slot.

Pearsall could up his draft stock if he performs well at the combine, as his athleticism is one of the knocks on him. The Saints may take a look at Pearsall with a day 3 pick, as they could use another receiver as there are rumors that Michael Thomas may not be brought back and Keith Kirkwood is a free agent. Pearsall should be a solid piece for a team if put in the right situation which I feel the Saints can provide.

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Originally posted on Canal Street Chronicles – All Posts