Earlier this week, we provided a scouting report on Florida interior linebacker Ventrell Miller, the Gators' defensive leader who tops the team in tackles.

It's since been revealed that the senior linebacker had surgery this week to repair a torn biceps tendon suffered in UF’s 42-20 victory against South Florida. 

He's out for the season. Junior Mohamoud Diabate was Miller's backup last year, but the Gators also have senior Amari Burney, redshirt sophomore Ty’Ron Hopper, plus Jeremiah Moon, the sixth-year senior who got some interior work during the offseason.  

Moon has been at Florida so long he was originally recruited to the Gators out of Hoover High School in Alabama by Greg McElwain. He's listed as 6-5, 250, but has had three injury-shortened seasons. 

With Miller out, Florida will desperately need someone on the defensive side to pick things up. The guess here is that it'll need to be one of the following three players: 

Khris Bogle

Jersey: No. 8
Position: Outside linebacker
Height: 6-4
Weight: 234
DOB: 10/9/00
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Cardinal Gibbons High School

Background

Four-star recruit according to 247Sports. Chose Florida over Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and others. Added 25 pounds ahead of his sophomore season. Major is unknown. Academic standout.

Pros 

Mans the “BUCK” position for the Gators which requires him to line up at a wide-nine or all the way to the sideline with flexed-out running backs. Bogle has above average length to long arm blockers when he can extend. He swarms to the ball showing decent effort. Can be asked to spot drop occasionally.

Cons

Being late off the ball when rushing the passer frequently hurts his ability to win on an outside track. Bogle has below average burst up the arc which is also reflected by a lack of closing speed when spying or blitzing. Failing to utilize his length, he lets blockers into his frame, getting latched onto. Bogle can not shed blocks causing him to get sealed, driven off the ball and put on the ground. His hands are slow and predictable. He does not read tackles, predetermining his moves. As an off-ball linebacker, he is slow to read and react. Lackluster functional strength makes him slide down the pole and miss tackles.

Summary

Wiry outside linebacker who is deployed in a versatile way by the Gators. Bogle possesses above-average length to stab the chest of tackles occasionally. He lacks play strength and burst. His pass rush moves are predetermined and predictable. When lined up off the ball, he reads and reacts slowly. Bogle does not project as an NFL outside linebacker due to his many limitations. Some NFL teams could see him as a SAM.

Grades

4.9 (Current Value)/5.0 (Potential Value) 

Brenton Cox Jr.

Jersey: No. 1
Position: Defensive Line 
Height: 6-3.2
Weight: 250
DOB: 1/30/00
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Stockbridge, Georgia 
High School: Stockbridge

Background

Raised in Stockbridge, Georgia. Five-star recruit according to 247Sports. Spent two years at Miller Grove High School prior to Stockbridge. Played the 2018 season at Georgia. Transferred to Florida and redshirted. Academic standout. Major is unknown.

Pros

Overwhelming short-armed tackles with his great length is Cox’s calling card. He is able to create knockback consistently off the ball and uses his leg drive to push blockers into the pocket. His long arm is strong, allowing him to twist vertical pads and open the outside track. Cox beats lunging tackles with his double hand swipe, possessing the ankle flexibility to turn the corner after defeating the block. In the run game, he sets a strong edge against tight ends and has the physicality to enforce his will and disengage. Cox times the snap well and gets his long arms into throwing lanes to bat down the occasional pass. He is a solid tackler after winning his gap.

Cons

When he is unable to outreach tackles, Cox struggles to beat and get off blocks. His hands lack the violence to get tackles out of his frame, causing him to get latched on to. Cox is too slow and not urgent enough to disengage quickly and make plays in the run game consistently. A tendency to lean lets tackles snatch trap him. His burst is below average, severely limiting his ability to win on speed tracks. This also hurts his closing speed and finishing ability. He tries to stay clean when lead blockers come at him and ends up out of position.

Summary

Rushing from a two-point stance, Cox has great length and uses it to his advantage, bull-rushing tackles and enforcing his will on shorter opponents. Below average burst prevents him from being a speed threat and a lack of hand violence causes him to get latched on to as he can not break the contact point. Cox projects as a rotational 3-4 outside linebacker who can win with his power and length in the run and pass game. Athletic limitations mean that he will likely never be a full-time starter in the NFL.

Grades

7.4 (Current Value)/7.9 (Potential Value)

Mohamoud Diabate

Jersey: No. 11
Position: Linebacker 
Height: 6-3
Weight: 221
DOB: 5/18/01
Draft eligible: 2022
Hometown: Auburn, Alabama
High School: Auburn 

Background

Raised in Auburn, Alabama. Four-star recruit according to 247Sports. Played linebacker in high school and worked out as a defensive end in camps. Posted a 4.59-second forty-yard dash, 4.44-second short shuttle and a 38-inch vertical jump in high school.

Pro

Light-footed mover in space with very good lateral agility to slip blocks and be a threat on the blitz. Diabate takes frequent steps in coverage. He takes favorable angles to receivers, displaying locating skills. His length and springiness allow him to make plays on passes behind him from underneath zones. Diabate gets downhill when he has a lane, making the occasional play in the backfield.

Cons 

Very skinny and severely undersized which is apparent when he has to play in traffic where he is physically overwhelmed by offensive linemen. Diabate struggles to read the mesh point correctly and recover after play action. When flowing, he takes his eyes off the ball carrier, missing his marks by yards. A low tackler, he has frequent misses because of his reliance on tripping runners up. Diabate gets caught flat-footed in space. He is late to time his get-off when blitzing.

Summary

Severely undersized linebacker who has intriguing movement skills. Diabate is serviceable in space. In traffic, blockers overwhelm him and he struggles to tackle. Slow processing and inconsistent eye discipline cause him to be in bad positions. Diabate projects as a potential tryout candidate who has a long way to go before making a practice squad. His athleticism could help him in a different league if he can improve fundamentals and bulk up.

Grades 

4.9 (Current Value)/5.2 (Potential Value)

BamaCentral Analysis

All three evaluations underscore just how how important Miller was to the Florida defense. He was the veteran leader of the group. Burney, the starting weakside linebacker, is considered more of a project in Todd Grantham's defense after moving up from safety for the 2020 season. That doesn't bode well for the Gators, who couldn't stop the Crimson Tide defense in the SEC Championship Game. Even if the Florida secondary can step up, there are some obvious problems in the front seven that Alabama will try and exploit. 

BamaCentral will profile a different Florida player each day this week as Alabama heads to the Swamp to face the Gators in a rematch of the 2020 SEC Championship Game. Also check out NFL Draft Bible.

Emory Jones

Ventrell Miller

Trey Dean III

Zachary Carter

Kaiir Elam

Earlier this week, we provided a scouting report on Florida interior linebacker Ventrell Miller, the Gators' defensive leader who tops the team in tackles.

It's since been revealed that the senior linebacker had surgery this week to repair a torn biceps tendon suffered in UF’s 42-20 victory against South Florida. 

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