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Gators Skill Players Highlight Day Three of the NFL Draft

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

It was the first time since 1978 that the Gators had three wide receivers drafted in one year.

Three former Gators were taken on the third and final day of the 2020 NFL Draft, with Lamical Perine going in the fourth round, Freddie Swain in the sixth, and Tyrie Cleveland going in the seventh round.

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The New York Jets picked Perine with the 120th pick of the draft. Meanwhile, Swain and Cleveland were selected by the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos with the 214th and 252th picks, respectively.

Swain and Cleveland’s selection on Saturday, along with Jefferson’s Friday night, marked the first time since 1978 that Florida had three wide receivers drafted in the same year. Florida joins Tennessee and LSU as the only schools in the Southeastern Conference to have had three wide receivers selected in two separate drafts in the common draft era.

Additionally, it was the first time since 2009 that more than one UF wide receivers were selected the same year and the fourth time since 2000. That feat ranks second in the SEC.

Florida, who has now had 42 wide receivers drafted since 1967, was the only school in the 2020 NFL Draft to have three wide receivers drafted.

Perine became the sixth Florida running back selected in the NFL Draft since 2012, joining Jordan Scarlett (5th round, 154th overall, 2019), Kelvin Taylor (6th round, 211th overall, 2016), Matt Jones (3rd round, 95th overall, 2015), Mike Gillislee (5th round, 164th overall, 2013), and Chris Rainey (5th round, 159th overall, 2012). Additionally, he will join Zuniga in New York, marking the third time since 2015 that an NFL team picked more than one Gator in a single draft.

The three Gators drafted on Saturday joined CJ Henderson (1st round, 9th overall, Jacksonville Jaguars), Van Jefferson (2nd round, 57th overall, Los Angeles Rams), Jabari Zuniga (3rd round, 79th overall, New York Jets), and Jonathan Greenard (3rd round, 90th overall, Houston Texans) for a total of seven UF picks in this year’s draft.

Florida is the only SEC school and one of just four schools nationally to have had at least one player selected in every draft during the common draft era. Of that group, UF (265) has the second-most players drafted, with USC (343) ahead of Florida, and Michigan (264) and Michigan State (193) trailing the Gators.

UF’s total seven picks in this year’s draft is the most by the Gators since 2017. It was also the eighth time since 2000 that the Gators had at least seven players drafted. Additionally, Florida had at least five players selected for the sixth straight year.