This year’s NFL draft is right around the corner, and whilst there may not be the standout talents such as Andrew Luck and RG3 from last year’s class, there is still a lot of talent coming out of the college ranks. Right now, the first round looks to be heavily populated by linemen, both offensive and defensive, with quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs, perhaps coming later.
With that being said, let’s start this off by looking at a running back, who is flying slightly under the radar, but should be able to bring a lot to the table.
Introducing Florida Gators RB, Mike Gillislee – 5-9, 211 lbs.
I recently watched this year’s Senior Bowl, and was really impressed by what Gillislee did on the field. Initial reactions are that he is an upright runner, who might not have the greatest burst of speed, but he quickly accelerates and has an innate ability to make defenders miss. Make no bones about it, once this kid gets going, he is fast.
Gillislee only really beagn to shine in his senior year with the Gators, where he finsihed with 244 carries for 1152 yards and ten touchdowns, becoming the first Florida player to rush for over 1000 yards in a season since 2004. Those 1152 yards put him at seventh place all-time in Florida history.
Looking at his skills, what stands out the most for me is his breakaway speed. Once he gets out into the open, he’s a tough man to catch, and he can gain yards after initial contact, although perhaps not as much as some scouts would be looking for. He will need to work on his pass blocking, and his slight frame does put him at a bit of a dis-advantage, but the effort is definitely there.
Projected to go somewhere between rounds two and four in this year’s NFL draft, Gillislee would offer great value if he’s still on the board heading into round four. Taking him in the second round might be a bit too rich for some, but depending on a team’s needs and how they feel about him, he might get snapped up early.
So, as the old saying goes – a picture paints a thousand words, so let’s take a look at some highlights from Gillislee’s time in Florida. This video really does show what a solid running back he is. I like him a lot and he should do well in the NFL.