GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- One way to confirm success in college football is to see your team's players in the discussion for the NFL draft. For Gator fans, that's apparently going to be a short conversation this spring if you go by NFL draft guru Mel Kiper's top five players by position (Insider) or his big board (Insider). Ex-Gator Janoris Jenkins doesn't count.
But next year could be more of the same, as Mel has just one Florida player -- kicker Caleb Sturgis -- on his list of top five returning seniors by position (Insider). That doesn't auger well for UF's chances at gridiron success in 2012.
Mel doesn't have a Gator in the first round, but he lists Jaguars DE Jeremy Mincey as a "close call." Quite an accomplishment for a sixth-round pick.
Switching gears (sort of) to the NFL scouting-fest known as the Senior Bowl ...
Scouts Inc., analyst Todd McShay says former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins will have to do well in interviews and explain his off-the-field issues if he is to be a first- or second-day NFL draft pick.
Jenkins is among McShay's early standouts at the Senior Bowl, showing that he is "still the cornerback that he once was" at Florida. McShay also says of Jenkins: "He is a first-round cornerback in terms of man-to-man and pure coverage skills."
Jenkins met with the Raiders and now says he may or may not meet with the Cowboys. He says he has no fear and nothing to hide about his checkered past.