Looking Into Gators QB Richardson, DL Dexter, OL Torrence’s NFL Draft Stock

Looking Into Gators QB Richardson, DL Dexter, OL Torrence’s NFL Draft Stock

Photos: Gervon Dexter, Anthony Richardson and O’Cyrus Torrence; Credit: Alex Shepherd

Florida’s relatively young roster isn’t packed with potential 2023 NFL Draft prospects, but three who stand out are third-year sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson, fourth-year junior right guard O’Cyrus Torrence and third-year sophomore Gervon Dexter. As the end of Billy Napier’s first season as Gators manager approaches, the futures of these players have become a topic of conversation.

Richardson was labeled as a potential first-round pick during the offseason, and while his stock cooled with an inconsistent start to the campaign, his marked improvement over Florida’s last four games already has his teammates pleading for the quarterback to return in 2023.

Since UF’s matchup with LSU in Week 7, Richardson has completed 61-of-113 passes (54 percent), averaged 192.5 passing yards per game and tossed six touchdowns. He’s been dynamic on the ground, too, compiling 302 yards and four scores on the ground since posting a season-high 109 rushing yards against the Tigers.

Richardson has avoided turnovers completely in that stretch after throwing seven interceptions and losing two fumbles over the first six weeks of the season. While his numbers are trending in a positive direction, they still fall short of what is expected from first-round signal-callers. That being said, his approximately 80-yard throw at the Manning Passing Academy over the summer, his reported 4.4-second 40-yard dash (which would be the second-fastest result by a quarterback in NFL Combine history) and passes like the one below have kept NFL personnel intrigued. All of these factors led to the question: Was Richardson’s last game in The Swamp?

Richardson stated that he hasn’t thought about his future since the Gamecocks beat the Gators. “After the Georgia loss, we were just trying get the team moving again, trying to get back to track so I haven’t really thought about it.”

One thing is certain: Richardson hopes to play in Florida’s upcoming bowl game.

“Yes, definitely,” Richardson replied to that exact question. “I’m working you understand, just trying to improve game by game and that’s it,” Richardson replied to that exact question. A former consensus five-star prospect with ideal size (6-foot-6, 312 pounds), strength (425-pound bench, 655-pound squat) and athleticism (a 4. 88-second 40-yard dash posted in high school), Dexter is built like the prototype versatile lineman that dominates the pros in the modern era. Dexter has also been the subject of first-round buzz since the offseason.

Florida DL Gervon Dexter

Florida DL Gervon Dexter

He hasn’t reached the levels of production many expected for a prospect of his caliber, but that reality wouldn’t necessarily prevent NFL teams from coveting his talent.

Dexter has played the 19th-most snaps among defensive linemen in the FBS this year with 528, in part out of necessity due to Florida’s inexperienced depth up front, and would likely rank in the top ten if South Carolina’s turnover-prone offense didn’t cut his snaps to a single-game season-low of 30 on Saturday.

And while his box score stats aren’t incredible — 42 tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, an interception and two passes defended — he’s certainly making a strong impact. Dexter has produced 22 run stops and 20 quarterback pressures, tied for 19th and 45th most in the FBS among the 631 and 680 defensive linemen who have posted a stat in those respective categories, according to Pro Football Focus. For better context, only 3. 01 percent of the nation’s defensive linemen have produced more run stops, and 6. 62 percent of the nation’s defensive linemen have created more quarterback pressure. Only nine linemen with more snaps logged than Dexter have produced either more run stops or quarterback pressures in 2022. There are many reasons for NFL teams to be interested in Dexter’s potential. Dexter, however, is not publicly thinking about his future like Richardson.

“I haven’t. “I was focused on South Carolina last weekend,” Dexter stated on Monday. “This week, I’m focused on beating Vandy.” “

Torrence has the strongest case to be drafted high of these three players. His play speaks for itself. He’s yet to allow a sack across his 44 career starts (nine at Florida, 35 at Louisiana) and is the highest-graded, qualifying run-blocking guard in the country this season, per PFF.

He was also a last-minute addition to Florida’s Senior Day ceremonies, a suggestion that his future with the team beyond 2022 isn’t solidified.

It was quite special. Before Senior Night, it was hard to believe that I would be able to do it. Torrence shared his Saturday story. “But I talk to coaches and they know that I’m graduating from the classroom,” Torrence said. “I spoke with them and they said that I did enough for them. It was a special moment to be allowed to walk with Coach Napier in the middle of the field, then take a photo with my family. It was a special, fun time. It is a standard operating procedure for players to refrain from discussing their football futures before the end of the season. This is usually to avoid distractions in the locker area.

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At this point, all we have to definitively analyze is the intrigue NFL teams have displayed in Florida’s roster. Not to mention, the 2023 NFL Draft is over five months away and teams are far from finalizing their prospect boards.

However, through 11 weeks of the 2022 campaign, it has become increasingly clear which pro squads have taken an interest in Florida’s talent.

Every NFL team, except the Cincinnati Bengals has sent at least one scout to Florida this season. We can assume that a team is interested in at least one Florida player because they have made more than their due diligence on draft prospects. Eight teams have attended at least four games.

Half the league meets this mark, and eight team have been to at most four games. Let’s start with the Richardson angle.

Of those 16, six could be described as potentially “quarterback-needy” for various reasons this upcoming offseason: Tampa Bay (four visits), Washington (four), Indianapolis (four), Detroit (four), New York Giants (three) and Houston (three).

Whether it’s Tom Brady ‘s imminent retirement or another failed experiment

, six of these teams could be described as “quarterback-needy” for various reasons this offseason: Tampa Bay (four visits), Washington (four), Indianapolis (4), Detroit (4), New York Giants (3), Houston (3), and Houston (3).

Florida QB Anthony Richardson

Florida QB Anthony Richardson

Las Vegas (two) falls outside of the threshold, however, general manager Dave Ziegler personally attended Florida’s matchup with Tennessee along with two Raiders scouts, observing Richardson and Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker up close. Josh McDaniels, Ziegler, and Alex Shepherd were both hired earlier this season and could be interested in identifying the future quarterback to follow Derek Carr .

Carr has been Las Vegas’ starting quarterback for nine seasons, and in addition to the Raiders’ offense struggling in 2022, he’s only led Las Vegas to the playoffs twice. Carr played in one of the team’s two postseason losses in that span, the 26-19 defeat against Cincinnati earlier this year.

Interestingly, Minnesota has watched UF more than any team in the league besides Miami, as the Vikings have attended six games while the Dolphins have attended seven. Similar to Las Vegas, the Vikings’ first-year coach Kevin O’Connell may also be thinking about the long-term future for his quarterback position.

Cousins, who will turn 35 years old next August, has a void year in his contract in 2024. Dexter is a defensive lineman who even deep trench teams look for every year. This would make it harder for him to project his draft projection if he did not declare for the draft.

Miami, Minnesota, Baltimore (five trips), Jacksonville (four), San Francisco (3), and the Los Angeles Chargers (33) are all examples of teams that could benefit by selecting a defensive-lineman early in this draft. These squads are not considered “quarterback-needy” but are among the most frequent UF observers.

Guard can be harder to predict than defensive tackle over the five months leading up to the NFL Draft, considering how few are selected in round one and total. Despite not giving up a single sack in his four-year career, and showing a high level of run blocking ability, Torrence is being considered a potential first rounder.

Florida OL O'Cyrus Torrence

Florida OL O’Cyrus Torrence

Miami would be a perfect fit, although the Dolphins are without a first-round pick this year due to violating league tampering policies. He would be able to play comfortably at the spot of guard opposite Robert Hunt . Napier was Torrence’s former teammate at Louisana.

Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Seattle (three), Philadelphia (three) and the Chargers are several of the many sensible fits for Torrence among the teams that meet the three-visit threshold.

The deadline to declare for the upcoming NFL Draft is January 16, 2023.

Florida has already experienced roster attrition with seven players announcing their intentions to enter the transfer portal after the 2022 season (you can find the list in this story) and another, Brenton Cox Jr., being dismissed from the team. As Napier continues to rebuild UF’s roster from scratch, there will be more transfers.

The draft is another hurdle in the roster reconstruction process. Players like Richardson, Dexter, and Torrence will have to decide whether Napier’s development plan has prepared their players for the pros, or if they would benefit from another season in the system.

Following the conclusion of the 2022 season, All Gators will publish the full list of Florida games attended by NFL personnel throughout the year in a separate story.

Stay tuned to All Gators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @AllGatorsOnFN on Twitter and All Gators on FanNation-Sports Illustrated on Facebook.

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