UF a go-to program for NFL teams

Jarrad Davis, the Detroit Lions first-round draft pick, is introduced at a news conference Friday in Allen Park, Mich. Davis was selected 21st overall in the first round Thursday night. [Daniel Mears/Detroit News via AP] Last Modified: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 2:03 p.m.

Down through the years, following good seasons and bad, the Florida Gators have been a major player in the NFL draft, one of college football’s elite programs.

Last weekend’s draft was no different. It was another good one for the Gators, and the Florida brand.

Here are some of the Gator highlights:

*For the fourth time since 2010 and the seventh time in school history, eight Gators were selected. And only Florida, Alabama (nine), Ohio State (six) and LSU (five) had at least five players drafted in the first three rounds.

*The Gators had four players selected in the first 53 picks, the most since 2010.

*For the third time in history, five UF players were drafted in the first three rounds.

*For the third straight year, at least five Gators were drafted.

*The Gators have had eight first-round picks in the last five drafts.

*UF has had a first-round pick in 10 of the last 11 years.

*UF has had 16 first-round picks since 2007, third most among all schools.

*Florida has had 51 first-round picks in the history of the draft. That’s the sixth most in the nation and the second among SEC schools, trailing only Alabama, which has had 55.

*The Gators have had five first-round picks on defense in the last four years, which is tied for second behind Ohio State.*Florida has had the fourth-most first-round picks (49) and all schools and the most in the SEC in the Common Draft era (since 1967). UF trails only Southern Cal (68), Ohio State (64) and Miami (59).*UF is tied with Ohio State for the most defensive backs selected in the first two rounds of the last two drafts with five.*On Friday, Marcus Maye, Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor became the first UF defensive backs selected in the same round.*It is the fourth time in school history that the Gators had two linebackers (Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone) drafted in the first three rounds.Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.