They’re not in college anymore and now they have to work hard to prove what they’re made of as NFL rookies.
Here’s a look at Florida college stars who are living the dream as NFL rookies and have the potential to make a serious impact on their new team.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
The former Seminole was drafted by the Carolina Panthers 28th overall. The Panthers needed a fast, fit, agile receiver and that’s exactly what they get with Benjamin. The only thing holding him back is the fact that he has a short amount of time to grow into exactly what they want.
According to Bleacher Report, Benjamin is spending his time with quarterback Cam Newton, working on their chemistry and getting to know each other before training camp starts.
Benjamin has a lot going for him. He’s got the speed, the ability, the work ethic, the size to do big things with the Panthers. He is still young and he still has a lot of work to put in but you do not want to take your eyes off of him during camp.
QB Blake Bortles
The former UCF Knight is close to home in Jacksonville with the Jaguars but can he win the starting role? Everyone knows that he’s the perfect size and his arm is extremely accurate, but what we don’t know is if its enough to beat Chad Henne.
Luckily, training camp will point us in the right direction. It won’t be a big setback if Bortles sits out his first year and learns as much as possible while on the sidelines. Bortles has said before that he wouldn’t mind sitting out and soaking it all in.
While it makes sense for any team to keep him out for a year to learn, the Jaguars are a little different. They don’t have much going for them right now so why not throw him into the fire and see what happens?
CB Jaylen Watkins
The former Florida Gator will be pushing for a starting spot with the Philadelphia Eagles and as their first pick in the draft, it seems the feeling between him and the coaching staff may be mutual.
Watkins is projected to compete for the starting nickel role with the Eagles and he has some stiff competition. If he can push out Bradley Fletcher and Nolan Carroll, he’ll get the start.
Some analysts say even though Watkins is impressive, he may not get a chance to make an impact in Philly this year. He may need a year to get bigger and faster and then have a break out season in 2015. Regardless, he’ll be one to watch during training camp.
S Terrence Brooks
The former Florida State Seminole had an exceptional season in 2013 and even though he fell to the middle of the third round of the draft this year, the Baltimore Ravens picked him up and they seem to be in on the secret that is Terrence Brooks.
Brooks is a little undersized but he has strong coverage abilities and he could possibly outplay veteran Darian Stewart in training camp and win the starting job.
Brooks has experience playing cornerback as well which could easily set him apart from others who are less versatile. Keep your eyes peeled for big things from him.