Florida’s 2023 NFL Draft prospects led by O’Cyrus Torrence, Anthony Richardson

The PFN Draft Preview takes a deeper look into the potential 2023 NFL Draft prospects set to hit the field for Florida this season

The Florida Gators are riding a three-year first-round draft streak at present. Can they continue to churn out Round 1 talent in the 2023 NFL Draft? From a mauling transfer guard to a quarterback with tantalizing potential, there is a definite promise of another Day 1 selection next April. Who are the top Florida draft prospects to watch out for during the fall?

Florida prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft

If not for a blip in 2019 where Jawaan Taylor slipped into the early second round, Florida would have gone 10 consecutive seasons with a first-round selection. However, with just three picks in last year’s cycle, it was the Gators’ least successful class in terms of quantity since 2012. With a new head coach in Billy Napier, can they see a significant uptick in the number of players they send to the league in the 2023 NFL Draft?

O’Cyrus Torrence, G

It’s possible that Florida’s best prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft might be one that arrived with the aforementioned new HC. O’Cyrus Torrence transferred from Louisiana, looking to turn All-Sun Belt accolades into SEC success as NFL Draft ascension.

He certainly has the tools to do so. A 6’5″, 335-pound behemoth, Torrence has the size, strength, and power to be a difference-maker on the interior. Furthermore, he possesses surprising athletic ability for his size. If he can dominate in the SEC, he’ll surely attract attention next April.

Anthony Richardson, QB

Florida QB Anthony Richardson was recently featured in our first look at the top prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, some very real flaws could prevent him from ever living up to that high billing.

Yet, there’s also a ton of upside that — if harnessed correctly — could see the Florida QB emerge as one of the most dynamic quarterback threats in the nation. At 6’4″, 236 pounds, he boasts size, an elastic arm, and dynamic, game-changing creativity. Right now, the Florida QB is the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect in the QB class.

Trey Dean III, S

Coming off arguably the best season of his career, Trey Dean III eschewed the NFL and returned for his fifth season with Florida. In doing so, he puts himself in the shop window as one of the top safeties in the 2023 NFL Draft.

With 174 tackles, four interceptions, and 14 pass breakups, the Florida safety has been productive during his four years with the Gators. Dean has impressive size, length, and strength, and he puts those all together to be a menace in coverage. Furthermore, few at the position can hit with his ferocity.

Rashad Torrence II, S

While Dean has been productive through his career, Rashad Torrence II was the most productive Florida safety last season. The now-junior DB snagged three interceptions last fall while adding 87 tackles to his résumé.

While Torrence is a more diminutive 2023 NFL Draft safety prospect than his teammate, don’t mistake a lack of size for lack of ability. He, too, can be a tackling force while possessing the ball-tracking ability and length to impact the catch point. Torrence is also an explosive athlete, with sideline-to-sideline range to boot.

Justin Shorter, WR

With Jacob Copeland transferring to Maryland, Florida’s top returning wide receiver is Justin Shorter. The redshirt-senior pass catcher hauled in 41 catches for 550 receiving yards and three scores in 2021.

At 6’5″ and 228 pounds, Shorter has a ludicrous size advantage as a pass catcher. He combines that advantage with an excellent catch radius and impressive body control to pose a genuine receiving threat. Meanwhile, he possesses enough speed — reportedly a 4.5 40-yard dash — to add value after the catch.

Brenton Cox Jr., EDGE

Although he had the most productive season of his career in 2021 with 14 ½ tackles for loss and eight sacks, Brenton Cox Jr. opted to return to Florida for one final season. While he doesn’t possess elite speed, he’s showcased that he can sometimes play with explosion.

Cox wins with a combination of length and strength, possessing a powerful bull rush amongst several pass-rush tools. While he has been used from multiple alignments by the Gators, he projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Gervon Dexter, DT

A former five-star recruit who remarkably played both defensive end and tackle at high school, Gervon Dexter is a 6’6″, 313-pound monster at the heart of the defensive line. If he continues to build on his outstanding sophomore season, he could emerge near the top of the DT class in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Dexter gets off blocks with ease with his powerful long arms and plays with devastating strength at the point of attack. The Florida DT prospect is also an impressive athlete for his size, showcasing speed and lateral agility.

Ventrell Miller, LB

After a torn bicep restricted his 2021 season to just two games, linebacker Ventrell Miller is back for his sixth season in college football. On his day, Miller plays the game with a high level of intelligence and hustles to the ball.

He can be impactful coming downhill against the run and has also demonstrated coverage ability during his Florida career. He’s also a vocal leader for the defense. A new head coach and linebacker coach may be the ticket to unlocking Miller’s potential and elevating his 2023 NFL Draft stock.

Richard Gouraige, OT

An experienced and versatile offensive lineman, Richard Gouraige originally started at left guard before kicking out to become the Gators’ full-time left tackle last fall. At 6’5″ and 310 pounds, Gouraige has good size for the position. Meanwhile, he plays with nastiness in the run game you’d expect from a former guard.

He improved in pass protection throughout last season, and that has been an area where he’s worked diligently. A former defensive lineman at high school, Gouraige also demonstrates excellent football IQ.

Avery Helm, CB

Just a redshirt sophomore in the upcoming college season, there’s no guaranteeing that Avery Helm will declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. However, if he continues to progress and build on the standard he set last season, there’s a good chance he’ll capitalize and make the leap to the NFL.

At 6’1″ and 174 pounds, Helm is a slender CB prospect who nevertheless is still willing in run support. However, it’s at the catch point where he does his best work with impressive functional length and good play speed.

Amari Burney, LB

Having played wide receiver and safety in high school, Amari Burney has transitioned from a backup defensive back in 2018 to a starting linebacker and potential 2023 NFL Draft prospect for Florida. The 6’2″, 236-pound LB displays exciting athletic potential, with fluidity to his game and impressively quick feet. Meanwhile, he has special-teams experience that adds value to his résumé.

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