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We ranked every drafted Gators QB by their NFL career. Who is No. 1?

The Gators have produced prolific college passers, but they haven’t translated well to the NFL.
Published Apr. 21
Updated Apr. 22

Despite the Gators’ history of high-scoring offenses and prolific passers, Florida’s quarterbacking resume in the NFL is uninspiring. As Kyle Trask prepares to enter the league, here’s how we rank the last eight drafted UF quarterbacks as pros (plus one who wasn’t).

Note: We’re not counting transfers like Cam Newton.

Related: Why Bucs should consider drafting Gators QB Kyle Trask

9. Wayne Peace

Wayne Peace played for the Tampa Bay Bandits but never appeared in an NFL game.
Wayne Peace played for the Tampa Bay Bandits but never appeared in an NFL game. [ Times (1984) ]

Drafted: 1984 supplemental draft, seventh overall to the Bengals

Still ninth on UF’s career passing list (6,946), the former Tampa Bay Bandit never appeared in a regular-season game for Cincinnati. He didn’t make final rosters with the Dolphins or Chargers, either.

8. Kerwin Bell

Kerwin Bell, seen here during his Gators career, only threw five regular-season NFL passes.
Kerwin Bell, seen here during his Gators career, only threw five regular-season NFL passes. [ Times (1986) ]

Drafted: 1988 seventh round, No. 180 overall to the Dolphins

The 1984 SEC player of the year spent time with the Dolphins and Bucs before having more success in the World League of American Football and the CFL. He did, however, complete his only regular-season passes, going 5-of-5 for 75 yards and a touchdown in one game with the Colts in 1996.

Related: Since Tim Tebow, the Gators have had 2 QBs drafted in baseball, but none in football

7. Jesse Palmer

Jesse Palmer has done much better as a broadcaster (and The Bachelor) than he did as an NFL quarterback.
Jesse Palmer has done much better as a broadcaster (and The Bachelor) than he did as an NFL quarterback. [ BILL KOSTROUN | AP (2004) ]

Drafted: 2001 fourth round, No. 125 overall to the Giants

The future broadcaster appeared in eight games (three starts) in four seasons in New York, finishing with three touchdown passes and four interceptions. Palmer’s claim to NFL fame: He was the quarterback Bruce Smith sacked in 2003 to become the league’s all-time sack king.

6. Danny Wuerffel

Danny Wuerffel started six games during his time with the Saints.
Danny Wuerffel started six games during his time with the Saints. [ Times (1998) ]

Drafted: 1997 fourth round, No. 99 overall to the Saints

Not even a reunion with Steve Spurrier could boost the 1996 Heisman Trophy winner’s NFL career. He appeared in 25 career games (12 touchdowns, 22 interceptions) for four different teams. His last seven starts were for Spurrier and Washington in 2002. He was cut the next August.

5. John Reaves

John Reaves played for the Bucs during the 1987 strike.
John Reaves played for the Bucs during the 1987 strike. [ Times (1987) ]

Drafted: 1972 first round, No. 14 overall to the Eagles

The late Robinson High alumnus had rough NFL statistics (17 passing touchdowns, 34 interceptions and a career 46.4 completion percentage) but did have a long, journeyman career. He appeared in 49 NFL games from 1972-1981, then spent three seasons with the Bandits before making two starts as a scab for the Bucs during the 1987 strike.

4. Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow had a great 2011 season with the Broncos. He was traded that offseason.
Tim Tebow had a great 2011 season with the Broncos. He was traded that offseason.

Drafted: 2010 first round, No. 25 overall to the Broncos

His 80-yard overtime touchdown pass that beat the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs in January 2012 was the peak of Tebowmania. It didn’t last long. Denver traded him to the Jets that offseason, and Tebow’s career soon fizzled out. His final numbers: 35 career games, 16 starts and 3,411 total yards.

Related: Tim Tebow came into their life, and never left

3. Shane Matthews

Shane Matthews spent 14 seasons in the NFL, including some time with Washington.
Shane Matthews spent 14 seasons in the NFL, including some time with Washington. [ Times (2002) ]

Drafted: He wasn’t

Though this list was for drafted players, we made an exception for Matthews. He spent 14 seasons in the league and appeared in 31 games (22 starts) for Chicago, Washington and Buffalo. Matthews finished with 31 touchdown passes and more than 4,700 yards while completing 58.6 percent of his passes before retiring in 2007.

2. Steve Spurrier

Steve Spurrier threw his last NFL passes with the Bucs during their inaugural 1976 season.
Steve Spurrier threw his last NFL passes with the Bucs during their inaugural 1976 season. [ HALE, FRASER | Times (1976) ]

Drafted: 1967 first round, No. 3 overall to the 49ers

The 1966 Heisman winner passed for more than 5,200 yards in 92 games with San Francisco from 1967-75. He spent his final season on the inaugural, winless Bucs team, where he threw for 1,628 yards, seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

1. Rex Grossman

Rex Grossman helped the Bears make it to Super Bowl 41, cementing his spot atop our rankings.
Rex Grossman helped the Bears make it to Super Bowl 41, cementing his spot atop our rankings. [ JEFF ROBERSON | AP (2007) ]

Drafted: 2003 first round, No. 22 overall to the Bears

Grossman deserves the top spot for helping lead Lovie Smiths’ Bears to an appearance in Super Bowl 41. He passed for more than 10,000 career yards in 54 games (47 starts) with Chicago, Houston and Washington.

Related: Why opt-outs are this NFL draft’s biggest unknown

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