Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Five Gators landed with NFL teams as unrestricted free agents

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A relatively quiet NFL Draft three-day, seven-round affair for the University of Florida got busy during the hours after it ended.

Five Gators reached agreements as unrestricted free agents: linebacker Jeremiah Moon with the Baltimore Ravens; Retreat Malik Davis with the Dallas Cowboys; Aggressive tackle Jean Delance with the Chicago Bears; and tackles Antonio Valentino and Tyrone Trussdale on the defensive with the New York Giants.

Three Gators were drafted, the fewest since two players were selected in 2012. But each landed in favorable conditions, leaving cornerback Kair Allum, defensive lineman Zachary Carter and Damon Pierce behind.

The alum was selected at number 23 during the first round by the Buffalo Bills, giving Florida at least one first-round pick during nine of the last 10 drafts. The AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals selected Carter, number 95, in the third round to form the defensive front of a Super Bowl team. Pierce went to a franchise in the fourth round, at number 107, to come out of the 4–13 season and look for a playmaker.

Considering the draft situation, all three players will be given long-term contracts and ample opportunities.

Meanwhile, Moon and his partner UDFA will have to make a living.

Moon delivers shape (6-5, 249) and athleticism, along with substantial experience in at least one game during a six-season stretch (2016-2021). During that time he made a total of 151 tackles, 14 for loss (8 sacks) and defended 4 passes.

Moon often made an impact on the field, but struggled with a variety of injuries.

Davis himself had to recover from injury after a quick start to his college career. He ran for 526 yards in 2017 over the course of seven games as a first-year player, but suffered a torn ACL during a 42-7 loss to Georgia. He broke his leg the next season.

While healthy, the 5-foot-10, 207-pound Tampa product was an effective sprinter and talented pass catcher, highlighted by 100 receiving yards during the 2020 win against Georgia. Davis rushed for 1,470 yards with 8 touchdowns and caught 70 passes for 726 yards and 2 scores during his career.

At the team’s pro day on March 28, he recorded a vertical jump of 39 inches and a 10-foot-7 wide jump, but ran just 4.71 in the 40-yard dash.

Delegates from 28 teams five weeks ago saw Delance show athletic ability himself. The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Texas native had achieved a lot in his Florida career, yet started three seasons in the right way.

The Dalens’ inconsistent play prompted coaches to look for replacements from time to time, but none could undo the former University of Texas transfers.

Valentino and Truesdale were bachelor transfers last season.

The friendly Valentino became the spokesperson and solid contributor to the team. The 6-foot-2, 312-pound Penn State transfer recorded 23 tackles for the Gators, 3 for a loss (1 sack) when he appeared in 40 games for the Nittany Lions, 51 tackles, 12 for a loss (6 sacks) )

Trusdale, from Auburn, made just 12 tackles in 13 matches.

This article first appeared on, at email edgar thompson [email protected] or follow him on twitter @osgators,


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