Florida and Florida State are one of the most heated rivalries in all of football. Why? Because so many of the players that suit up for either side are homegrown talents and have been battling for years before advancing to the collegiate level. The familiarity breeds some kind of feeling, which is why extracurriculars almost always seem to make an appearance in this annual standoff.
The NFL talent this year? It is not as strong as seasons past, but the slate is still more full than most games. Which NFL teams do the Gators’ and Seminoles’ prospects fit best in? Let’s examine.
Marvin Wilson, IDL, Florida State (TDN Rank: 32)
Marvin Wilson is stout, disruptive and will probably be looked back on as a steal when it is all said and done. Gee whiz, who does that sound like it would be a great fit for on the interior defensive line? Wilson will not play Saturday, he is recovering from hand surgery. But he is likely to enter the offseason as TDN's top-rated prospect from either team.
Most realistic fit: New England Patriots
Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State (TDN Rank: 36)
The versatility Hamsah Nasirildeen brings to a back seven is exciting stuff. With 90-plus tackles entering this game, he also brings a nose for the football with three forced fumbles and two interceptions. Nasirildeen, who measures at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, is a unique talent, and someone who can make a strong push for the top of the draft class should he decide to declare.
Most realistic fit: Dallas Cowboys
CJ Henderson, CB, Florida (TDN Rank: 50)
If you love man-to-man cover cornerbacks, CJ Henderson has some very exciting physical traits and ball skills. Although his tackling has not been overly impressive this season, he has been able to provide good coverage when mirroring the opposition. Henderson’s efforts there should be enough to move the needle. Be on the lookout for his ball-hawking skills to show up against Flordia State.
Most realistic fit: Minnesota Vikings
Jabari Zungia, EDGE, Florida (TDN Rank: 72)
Jabari Zuniga is an odd evaluation as the Gators play him in several different spots. He has got good get-off when he is asked to play a penetration role and has embarrassed many offensive linemen with his initial quickness. There are bright flashes on interior-gap plays as well, despite his size at approximately 250 pounds. Zuniga’s projection at the next level is best suited for using his quickness off the edge and winning with speed to power.
Most realistic fit: Philadelphia Eagles
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State (TDN Rank: 75)
Few running backs in football have done more to help their status as NFL draft prospects than Cam Akers. He came into this season as an underachiever, but he has shed that label in a big way by setting career highs in just about every statistical category — and he only needed 10 games to get there. Akers enters the game against Florida with 1,265 yards of offense and 17 touchdowns. He is physical but also nimble, explosive and smooth.
Most realistic fit: Miami Dolphins
Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida (TDN Rank: 104)
This Louisville transfer has enjoyed some big moments on big stages. Jonathan Greenard had an excellent coming out party against Miami to open the season and has since logged double-digit tackles for loss. Greenard has more versatility to him than Zuniga and could feasibly play some standup outside linebacker as well.
Most realistic fit: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Lamical Perine, RB, Florida (TDN Rank: 112)
If you like RBs who run angry, Lamical Perine is one to watch. Perine has come into his own and shown more ability to do everything in an offense as he has matured in the Gators' program. Now he looks to put the finishing touches on his collegiate career with a win. Perine’s rushing numbers may be down, but his receiving numbers are way up with 32 receptions this season.
Most realistic fit: Washington Redskins
Levonta Taylor, DB, Florida State (TDN Rank: 158)
He might be a safety. He might be a nickel. Levonta Taylor’s size will probably limit him from playing outside corner, but ball skills and quickness typically get noticed and he has them both. Taylor has the makings of a better NFL prospect once he is further removed from a back injury that hindered him in 2018.
Most realistic fit: Detroit Lions