While the 2021 NFL Draft is certain to feature many Florida Gators football players throughout the three-day event, only two former Gators have been confirmed to be attending the draft in some capacity, whether in-person or virtually.
It is already known that former Gators tight end Kyle Pitts will be attending the draft in person, as he stated as much during his pro-day press conference last month. He will be the only former Florida player that is draft-eligible to shake the hand of or hug NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as he crosses the stage on the first night of the draft.
Pitts will join 12 other players who are looking to cross the stage over the weekend.
However, it was recently made known that former Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney would in fact be one of 45 players who are scheduled to attend the draft in a virtual capacity, similar to last year when all draft prospects were forced to attend the event virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The SEC will lead all college football conferences with 21 players scheduled to attend the draft in some capacity. Alabama lead s the way with nine draft-eligible players participating. Florida is behind LSU, Miami, Penn State and USC, who all have three players attending, with two.
For Toney, it has been a long time coming for the former high school quarterback. After spending four years with the Florida football program, the converted receiver was finally able to showcase his abiliti3es, breaking out as one of the better receivers in college football.
Toney led all Gators receivers with 70 receptions for 984 yards and nine touchdowns. He was also able to tack on 19 rushing attempts for 161 yards in 2020. Throughout his career, Toney accumulated 120 total receptions for 1,590 yards and 12 touchdowns. He's totaled 66 career rushing attempts for 580 yards and two touchdowns.
With his versatility as an offensive weapon along with his ability as a return specialist, it wouldn't be surprising to see Toney featured during the first day of the draft, selected in the first round.
Time will tell how many Florida prospects will ultimately be selected this weekend, but both Toney and Pitts are sure bets to be selected, and both could find themselves talking with the commissioner during the first night.