Florida Gators

Three Recently Drafted Gators Making a Name For Themselves in the NFL

todayNovember 23, 2022


The Florida Gators have a long history of producing fine football talent. Ever since the Cleveland Rams selected Walter Mayberry as the first pick of the eighth round in 1938, more than 350 Florida Gators players have forged careers in the NFL. Some 29 of those former Gators have gone on to become Pro Bowlers, with the legendary figures Jack Youngblood and Emmitt Smith inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.


Currently, there are 43 former Gators on the various NFL rosters, but it is the recent additions to the NFL from the past couple of drafts that we are interested in today. NFL teams drafted 11 Florida Gators across 2021 and 2022, including a trio of first-round picks. However, the 107th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Dameon Pierce, looks to be an absolute steal; more on him soon! How do you rate this talented trio?


Kyle Pitts – Atlanta Falcons


While large parts of the world are eyeing up the World Cup football betting markets, shrewd punters are going long on Kyle Pitts of the Atlanta Falcons becoming one of the NFL’s greats. Pitts played for the Florida Gators from 2018-2022. He played 11 games as a backup during his true freshman season but made the tight end position his own from 2019 onwards. During the 2020 season, Pitts scored 12 touchdowns and gained 770 yards from only eight games, as judges awarded him the John Mackey Award and voted him as a unanimous All-American.


The Atlanta Falcons selected Pitts as the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, making him the highest-drafted tight end in the history of the NFL. Pitts was incredible during his rookie season, finishing the season with 1,026 yards from 68 receptions, and being named in the 2022 Pro Bowl, making him the first tight end rookie since Jeremey Shockey in 2002 to achieve such status.


Pitts’ figures for this season are not as impressive, with 313 yards and two touchdowns from 25 receptions through nine games. The Falcons have the fourth-worst passing game in the league, which explains the less-than-stellar figures Pitts is putting up.


Kaiir Elam – Buffalo Bills

Kaiir Elam comes from a footballing family. Abram Elam, his father, played in the NFL for seven seasons from 2005-2012, while his uncle, Matt Elam, played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2013-2016. Kaiir Elam has continued the tradition by putting pen to paper on a contract with the Buffalo Bills.


The Buffalo Bills drafted Elam 23rd overall in 2022, making him the fourth straight defensive played the Bills selected with a first-round pick. Cornerback Elam made his Bills debut against the Los Angeles Rams and caught his first interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Week 5. Elam was superb against the Steelers, recording ten tackles in addition to his interception.


Elam was getting into his stride when he suffered an ankle injury, which caused him to miss the 30-33 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings on November 13. Hopefully, Elam will be back to fitness for the visit of the Cleveland Browns this week


Dameon Pierce – Houston Texans

Every now and then, a player is selected deep into the draft who turns out to be a diamond in the rough. Running back Dameon Pierce is such a player. Pierce racked up 1,806 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns and gained 376 receiving yards and four touchdowns during his college career with the Gators.


The Houston Texans selected Pierce as the 107th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and he has gone straight into the team from Week 1. Through the first nine games of the season, Pierce has 772 yards from 165 carries and 126 yards from 22 receptions. Those are impressive rookie figures in their own right, but they look spectacular when you consider the Texans are 1-7 right now and are the fifth-worst rushing team across the entire league in terms of yardage. Pierce’s 772 yards make up almost 85% of the 916 yards Texans’ rushing total!


There is every chance Pierce will break the Texans’ rookie rushing record set by Steve Slaton in 2008. Slaton, a third-rounder, played 16 games and gained 1,282 rushing yards.

Written by: 1010admin

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