The 2015 NFL Draft may have been held in Chicago for the first time, but the affair had a definite Florida vibe. Between the Bucs holding the first overall pick, the Jags the third, and the Dolphins the 14th, and seven college players from the Sunshine State selected in the top 32 picks, this was Florida's draft.
Even better for Miami fans, the Dolphins finally came away with a potential star playmaker. Get ready for DeVante Parker — the Louisville wide receiver could be wrecking defenses in Sun Life for years to come. Let's look back at a Florida-tinged draft night:
The Tampa Bay Bucs made Florida State University's Jameis Winston the draft's first pick
Many teams tried, but the Bucs refused to budge from the first slot because they wanted their man. Winston couldn't have found a better home than Tampa; minimal media, familiar surroundings, and a fan base made up of a large majority of the same fans that have been supportive of him through some ridiculous times over the past few years. Winston will have his hands full trying to turn around a franchise that has lost 70 of its last 100 games.
Dante Fowler Jr. had $7,000 shoes last night pic.twitter.com/zDlGRqIzCd— Maxwell (@MAX_yupp) May 1, 2015
The Jags took University of Florida defensive lineman Dante Fowler Jr., who wore amazing shoes
And then those shoes happened. Someone should tell Fowler there are not many places to wear $7,000 shoes in Jacksonville. Fowler seems like a solid pick for the Jags, who will sport a revamped D-line next season. Fowler, who went to Lakewood High School, led the Gators with 15 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hurries and had 8.5 sacks last season.
UM Offensive Lineman Ereck Flowers was selected ninth overall by the New York Giants
The first Hurricane off the board was not a surprise, as the New York GMEN took the massive Canes tackle with the ninth pick. Flowers goes from blocking teen QB Brad Kaaya to protecting two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning. Flowers started all but one game at left tackle for the Hurricanes last season and was a second-team All-ACC selection.
At six-foot-six and 329 pounds, he has been compared to another ex-Hurricanes offensive lineman: Bryant McKinnie. Flowers is only 20 years old, so the Giants should have a solid piece of their offensive line set for a long time.
The Miami Dolphins took Louisville WR DeVante Parker 14th overall
The Dolphins formally filled the gaping hole left by the trade of Mike Wallace to the Vikings by grabbing DeVante Parker with the 14th pick. The addition of Parker makes the Dolphins' receiving core a strength. Parker joins Stills, Landry, and Jennings to form a nice stable of wideouts for Ryan Tannehill to choose from. Combined with new tight end Jordan Cameron, there should be no shortage of targets in the passing game this year.
Dolphins fans seemed firmly behind the pick on social media. Only Georgia running back Todd Gurley was higher on most Dolphins fans' wish lists (thanks in no small part to Funky Buddha's plans to make a beer in his honor). But once Gurley went to the St. Louis Rams, Parker was the guy — and for once, the Dolphins didn't disappoint.
Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett went 29th to the Colts
With the 29th pick, the Indianapolis Colts took speedy Canes wideout Phillip Dorsett. Dorsett joins Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and T.Y. Hilton on the Miami-themed offensive side of the ball for the Colts. Dorsett skyrocketed up draft boards after he flashed his elite sprinter speed at the combine, posting a stellar 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds and three-cone drill speed of 6.7 seconds. Dorsett caught 36 passes for 871 yards and ten touchdowns in 2014 for the Canes and was the second Hurricane taken in the first round. A few Hurricanes could go in Round 2 tonight, which should continue to puzzle Hurricanes fans as to how their head coach, Al Golden, couldn't do more with so much NFL talent.
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