Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Second straight quiet day in NFL draft for Florida, Florida State

UCF’s Josh Robinson is the first state player drafted.

UCF’s Josh Robinson is the first state player drafted.

TAMPA — On Thursday, the NFL draft's first round came and went without any picks from Florida schools, something that hadn't happened since 1980. The drought continued Friday for another round, with the state's programs silent until Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson went to the Vikings with the third pick of the third round, 66th overall.

How odd is it for the state not to have a pick in the first two rounds? A year ago, the state had six picks in the first two rounds, and in 2010, there were 10. On Friday, California punter Brian Anger was taken before any player from Florida, Florida State or Miami. It's hard to blame the dropoff on the recent coaching changes at all three schools — their talented 2008 recruiting classes, which yielded this year's fourth-year seniors, were ranked among the top 10 nationally: third (UF), fifth (Miami) and ninth (FSU).

The state's three traditional powers didn't have a player called until the Dolphins took Hurricanes defensive end Olivier Vernon with the 72nd pick. Vernon had only 1½ sacks as a junior in 2011, limited to six games by an NCAA suspension relating to accepting impermissible benefits from booster Nevin Shapiro. He had six sacks as a sophomore, second in the ACC. Hurricanes linebacker Sean Spence, a first-team All-ACC selection who finished his four-year career with 47 tackles for loss, went 14 picks later to the Steelers.

Florida International had its highest draft pick in its short history as receiver T.Y. Hilton went late in the third to the Colts, giving top pick Andrew Luck a promising target who can also help Indianapolis in the return game.

There was a former Florida standout taken in cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who went to the Rams in the second round out of Division II North Alabama after off-field problems led to his dismissal from the Gators.

In Robinson, Minnesota has another talented player to help the NFL's worst pass defense in 2011 (34 passing touchdowns allowed). The Vikings passed on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the No. 4 overall pick but used a late first-rounder on Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith. Robinson had the fastest 40-yard time of any player at the NFL combine in February, officially 4.33 seconds.

The state's first-round silence was historic, but there were dubious individual honors as well — Florida didn't have a pick in the first three rounds for the first time since 1993, this after the Gators had at least one first-round pick in each of the previous five drafts. Today might be quiet for UF as well, with running back/receiver Chris Rainey and defensive end Jaye Howard as the best bets to be drafted.

The last time FSU went three rounds without a pick? That was 1987, when the first Seminole taken was defensive tackle Gerald Nichols in Round 7.

As for Miami, the Hurricanes should have a busy day today, with big names such as running back Lamar Miller, defensive tackle Marcus Forston and receiver Tommy Streeter still available.


Round 3 state picks

The Hurricanes had two of the four picks from the state on Friday:

66. MinnesotaJosh RobinsonDBUCF

72. MiamiOlivier VernonDEMiami

86. PittsburghSean SpenceLBMiami

92. IndianapolisT.Y. HiltonWRFIU

Second straight quiet day in NFL draft for Florida, Florida State 04/27/12 [Last modified: Friday, April 27, 2012 11:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  2. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  3. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during TCU’s 4-3 win in the College World Series.
  4. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.