All-Time Florida Gators NFL Dream Team

After having so much fun coming up with my All-Time NFL Dream Team of players who attended the University of Miami, I decided to make this a three-part series of college football teams from the state of Florida. Today, I will discuss the Florida Gators, and tomorrow I will share my all-time Florida St. NFL Dream Team.florida_gators_by_devildog360-d52jpwn

Players are from 1980 to the present and are based on the NFL career only of each player.

Offense

Quarterback: Rex Grossman. For being an elite football school with many quarterbacks who have won the Heisman Trophy, Gator quarterbacks have primarily struggled in the NFL. Grossman seems to be the best of the bunch as he has played in the NFL for 11 years and led the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl berth in 2006. His strength has been as a strong backup quarterback who has filled in admirably when brought in to finish or start when necessary.

Running Backs: Emmitt Smith and Fred Taylor. Smith played 15 seasons and is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, eight-time Pro-Bowler, and four-time All-Pro. He won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys and was named MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII. Taylor was a game breaker in his 13 seasons and was named All-Pro in 2007 where he also made the Pro Bowl.

Wide Receivers: Wes Chandler and Chris Collinsworth. Chandler was one of my favorite receivers growing up. He spent 11 seasons in the NFL where he made 4 Pro Bowls and was twice named All-Pro. Believe it or not, Collinsworth had game. I still remember his over the head catch in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 1981 Super Bowl loss to the 49ers. He was selected to three Pro Bowls in his eight seasons.

Tight End: Mike Mularkey. Sadly, Aaron Hernandez had 84 more receptions in his three seasons in the NFL than Mularkey had in nine seasons. However, Mularkey was a strong blocking tight end who has been a tight ends coach in the NFL in addition to a head coach with the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Offensive tackle: Lomas Brown and Max Starks. Brown played in the NFL for 18 seasons where he was a seven-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro. Although he never made a Pro Bowl, Starks had a solid ten-year career in the NFL where he won two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Offensive guard: Mike Pouncey and Jeff Zimmerman. Entering his fifth year, Pouncey has made two Pro Bowls in his four seasons in the NFL. Zimmerman is the best pick out of a poor group of guards. He only played four seasons in the NFL before suffering with his weight.

Center: Maurkice Pouncey. Mike’s identical twin brother, Pouncey is the best center in the NFL making the Pro Bowl and being named All-Pro each of his four seasons in the league.

Defense

Defensive ends: Jevon Kearse and Jack Youngblood. Kearse played in the NFL for 11 seasons making the Pro Bowl three times and All-Pro once. He collected 74 sacks in his career. Youngblood is in the NFL Hall of Fame after recording 151.5 sacks, seven Pro Bowl berths, and eight All Pro nods in his 14 seasons. One of his best stories is playing on a broken leg.

Outside linebackers: Wilber Marshall and Godfrey Myles. Marshall played 12 seasons in the league and was the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1992. He was a three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro who won two Super Bowls throughout his career. Myles is the other outside linebacker by default. He was a solid contributor on three Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl winning teams despite playing most of the six seasons as a backup.

Cornerbacks: Joe Haden and Lito Sheppard. Haden is one of the best shutdown corners in the game today. He has made two Pro Bowls and been recognized as an All-Pro once in his five seasons in the league. Sheppard recorded 19 interceptions in his ten seasons in the NFL. He made two Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro once in his career.

Free Safety: Reggie Nelson. Since entering the NFL in 2007, Nelson has 22 interceptions and brought one back to paydirt.

Strong Safety: Louis Oliver. Oliver spent eight years in the NFL where he nabbed 27 interceptions.

Special Teams

Punter: John James. James spent 13 seasons punting in the NFL and made three consecutive Pro Bowls.

Kicker: Caleb Sturgis. Much like the Miami Hurricanes, the Gators have not had many kickers make the NFL. Sturgis is entering his third season in the NFL and has a career high 54 yard field goal.

Returner: Percy Harvin. Harvin is on his fourth team in as many years and has been inconsistent on offense. However, he was the AP Rookie of the Year in 2009 when he made his only Pro Bowl. Harvin has five returns for touchdowns in his career.

There you have it. Agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts?

And that’s as I see it!

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