2020 Senior Bowl Recap: How Florida's Seniors Performed
Today marked the end of an era for five former Florida football players, as the 2020 Reese's Senior Bowl was a sight to see in Mobile, Alabama. The South team took a tough loss, falling 34-17 to the North.
The talent-filled Senior Bowl included many of the top seniors from all across the nation, and Florida was represented well with the likes of Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland, Jabari Zuniga, Jonathan Greenard, and Lamical Perine.
How did each of them fare?
Jefferson was one of the top-performing players throughout the week in Mobile, by showcasing his elite route running and strong hands. Jefferson took home the award for the South Team WR of the Week, which was voted on by the opposing cornerbacks. This goes to show how much respect Jefferson garners, as he is held in high regard amongst his competition.
During the game, Jefferson didn't get to show as much as he would have liked, but still caught two passes for 11 yards. He also contributed as a gunner on special teams and his performance during the week was more than enough.
Before the week, many scouts held Jefferson as an early Day 3 guy, but with his incredible performance this week, he very well could be selected on Day 2.
Perine was another former Gator who had a big week in practice, as he took home the award for the South Team's RB of the week, the same award that Jefferson won, but for the RB position. This is no surprise, as Perine has elite pass-catching ability and can fill in rotation for many NFL teams.
Perine was also named the South team Player of the Game.
Throughout the game on Saturday, Perine showed his versatility by catching 2 passes for 17 yards and rushing for 42 yards on seven attempts. He also scored the first touchdown of the day, on a 16-yard screen pass from Justin Herbert.
Perine looked like his 2018 self, bursting through holes and using his vision to make plays.
The Mobile native always keeps his feet moving even after contact, and his frame allows him to carry on defenders at the end of his runs.
Although he was a last-minute invite, the former Florida WR also improved his draft stock this past week, showing off his blazing speed as a deep threat. Scouts are intrigued by his ability on special teams, which he played throughout his time at Florida as a gunner and a return man.
Unsurprisingly, Cleveland started the game with a 34-yard kickoff return.
At wide receiver, Cleveland was in the rotation but did not see many targets.
The outside linebacker got some pressures on the opposing QB but didn't record a sack throughout the day.
He lined up in coverage often, trying to show scouts what he can do besides rushing the passer. When he was rushing the passer, his burst and quick first step were still obvious as it was at Florida. Greenard showed his versatility by lining up in both the 4-3 and 3-4 sets. Teams are looking into drafting Greenard in the late 2nd-3rd round, thanks to his athleticism and ability to move around.
Although he was injured for much of his senior season, Zuniga still made the trip to Mobile and kept up with scouts during the week. Zuniga continued to play defensive end but also split time with many other players.
Keep in mind this event isn't as friendly for defensive players, as the coverages and schemes are very basic, as the defenses are only allowed to play Cover 1, 2 and 3. No blitzes are allowed and teams only can rush four.
Still, many Gators came away from the week of practices with an increased draft stock as they showed their abilities to all 32 NFL teams. This will be a great experience for all involved and even may lead to some combine invites by the time it is all said and done.