2020 NFL Combine Live Blog: Tracking the Eight Florida Gators
The 2020 NFL Combine has begun!
337 NFL hopefuls are gathering in Indianapolis this week to compete in drills and meet with hundreds of team scouts, coaches, and front office personnel as they prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Eight former Florida Gators were invited to this year's Combine, following an Orange Bowl victory in Dan Mullen's second season as head coach. Each prospect is unique in their draft profile, and while all of them stand to gain from the event, some do more than others.
Below, you'll find the AllGators live blog covering the event during the week, as it pertains to Florida's eight prospects. Their measurables, press conference quotes and videos, testing results, and team meeting reports are some of, but not limited to, what you'll find within the constantly updated thread.
Former Gators Participating in the NFL Combine
- Running back Lamical Perine
- Wide receiver Van Jefferson
- Wide receiver Freddie Swain
- Wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland
- Defensive end Jabari Zuniga
- Defensive end/linebacker Jonathan Greenard
- Cornerback C.J. Henderson
- Punter Tommy Townsend
NFL Combine Schedule
10:00 P.M.: Tyrie Cleveland and Freddie Swain have both run their 40 yard dashes, with Cleveland officially posting a 4.46. Swain's time is not yet official, but NFL Network unofficially credits him with the same time of 4.46.
Both receivers performed well in the 40 yard dash, along with several other drills. I'll write more on that in the morning.
2:55 P.M.: According to a report from Chase Goodbread at NFL.com, Gators defensive ends Jonathan Greenard and Jabari Zuniga have both been asked by at least one team to work out as a linebacker at the NFL Combine.
2:20 P.M.: Gators wide receiver Van Jefferson will miss the rest of the NFL Combine with a small fracture in his foot, per report.
More details can be found here.
10:15 A.M.: During media availabilities, defensive end Jonathan Greenard told reporters that he has met with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys so far at the NFL Combine.
Of these teams, the Bears would make a ton of sense. Leonard Floyd has not lived up to his first round selection, most recently posting only three sacks in 2019. While the Bears are set to return Floyd on his fifth-year option next season, worth just over $13 million,
Greenard would make a ton of sense as Floyd's eventual successor at SAM linebacker in Chicago's 3-4 defense. There, not only could he improve the edge play opposite of All Pro Khalil Mack, but also drop into coverage against tight ends as he did during the Senior Bowl, playing under the Cincinnati Bengals' coaching staff.
10:10 A.M.: On-field workouts begin today with the tight ends, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, and Freddie Swain will compete in the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, pass-catching exercises, and numerous other drills tonight in front of hundreds of NFL personnel.
Coverage of the NFL Combine drills will begin tonight at 4 P.M. on NFL Network, and for the first time, ESPN will be airing the event as well on NFL Live and Sportscenter.
10:00 A.M.: C.J. Henderson has completed his weigh-in making him the final Gators prospect to do so. Henderson stands at 6-0 3/4" 204 lbs., with 31 5/8" arms (75 7/8" wingspan) and 9" hands.
It's hard to imagine hendeson getting much bigger than this frame at the next level, in order to preserve his speed. But at over 200 lbs., will he still find a way to break into the 4.3s in thr 40 yard dash like he did in high school?
9:15 A.M.: Defensive end Jabari Zuniga is up 11 pounds from the Senior Bowl last month, which isn't something I expected to see. Florida listed Zuniga at 246 lbs this past season, and he weighed 253 in Mobile.
Zuniga stood in at 6-3 3/8", 264 lbs., 32 7/8" arms (79" wingspan), and 10 3/8" hands. With his game predicating on burst at the line of scrimmage, Zuniga had better hope his added weight doesn't affect his test scores after a disappointing senior season filled with injuries.
9:00 A.M.: Defensive end Jonathan Greenard has completed his weigh-in, standing at 6-3 3/8, 263 lbs., with 34 /7'8" arms (81 1/4" wingspan), and 9 1/4" hands.
Greenard's length is outstanding, and teams will take interest in it. According to Mockdraftable, without including other 2020 prospects in this search, Greenard's arms are tied for the 12th longest among edge rushers at the NFL Combine since 1999.
12:15 P.M.: Van Jefferson tells the media that he's met with the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs, among other teams in meetings at the NFL Combine. Both offenses are similar to Florida's as they spread the ball around, so those fits make sense.
Imagine Jefferson catching passes from Patrick Mahomes /eyeball emoji.
Jefferson also said that he met with the New England Patriots at the Senior Bowl. That fit would also make sense given his high football IQ and route running prowess, which Bill Belichick likes in his wide receivers.
10:20 A.M.: Van Jefferson credits his father, Shawn, and Gators wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales for his development as a route runner, he tells CLNS Media's Evan Lazar at the NFL Combine. Shawn is currently the wide receivers coach for the New York Jets.
"I credit my dad and coach Gonzales. Those two guys really helped my game out a lot," Jefferson said during media availability.
"My dad, growing up, I remember countless of times going to the indoor of whatever team he was at, just running routes, having me drop down whenever I'm going full speed, come back and drop, so he'd just do it fast, it'd be repetitive. It's just something that's like muscle memory to me now, I can do it in my sleep. When I got to Florida, coach Gonzales just sees in my game, and put more tools in my toolbox. So I credit those two guys for my success," said Jefferson.
10:00 A.M.: Running back Lamical Perine has measured at 5-10 3/4", 216 lbs., with 31 5/8" arms (76 3/8" wingspan), and 10 1/4" hands.
Perine is back up five pounds after getting down to 211 for the Senior Bowl. It'll be interesting to see what his 40 yard dash ends up being after adding weight, as teams will grade his 40 differently than a nimbler running back at a larger size. If the number is about the same as when he weighed 211 lbs., he should be happy.
8:30 A.M.: Punter Tommy Townsend has completed his weigh-in, standing at 6-1 3/8", 191 lbs., with 32 1/8" arms (76 1/2" wingspan), and 9 1/8" hands.
Not that any of this matters, because he's a punter. But if you were looking for Townsend's official size, there you have it!
10:25 A.M.: Florida's weigh-ins for the day are over, as Freddie Swain has measured at 6-0 1/4", 197 lbs., with 30 5/8" arms (74 3/8" wingspan), and 9" hands.
Swain looks like your prototypical slot receiver, and has a chance to sneak himself into being drafted with a strong performance this week. He ran a 4.54 coming out of high school... an improvement from that at his size would be ideal.
9:30 A.M.: Van Jefferson follows Cleveland at the weigh-in, standing at 6-1 1/2, 200 lbs., with 32 3/4" arms (77 1/8" wingspan), and 9 1/8" hands.
Jefferson won't "wow" anyone with his size and athleticism this week, though, if he can post a 40 yard dash below 4.5 seconds, it'll be a huge win after a successful Senior Bowl last month.
9:10 A.M.: Measurements are starting to come in for the tight ends, quarterbacks, and wide receivers. Tyrie Cleveland is up four pounds from his Senior Bow weigh-in, standing at 6-2 3/8, 209 lbs., with 32 7/8" arms (78" wingspan), and 9 1/8' hands.
Any added weight where Cleveland can still produce a quality 40 yard dash is a plus. Remember, he ran a 4.38 coming out of high school at 6-2 1/2, 189 lbs.
9:00 A.M.: C.J. Henderson believes he could run the fastest 40 yard dash of any cornerback at the NFL Combine, as he told Sports Illustrated in an interview.
- Check out our Gators-only, seven-round NFL mock draft prior to the NFL Combine. Six former Gators were selected, and each team fit was discussed. You can read that mock draft here.