2017 NFL Draft: Florida's Teez Tabor adds name to loaded cornerback class
Tabor, the favorite to be the first CB picked, faces scrutiny for his off-field history
Running back is often mentioned as the deepest position in the 2017 draft class, but cornerback deserves mention with several first-round caliber cover prospects declaring early. The latest is Florida's Teez Tabor, who is the favorite to be first cornerback drafted, according to several around the league.
Tabor penned a letter for The Players Tribune, announcing his decision.
"It's an exciting time for me," Tabor said. "I've decided to do what's best for me and my family by continuing to pursue my dreams. But I'm not saying goodbye. I'm saying see you later. Hopefully I'll make ya'll proud and show how my passion for this game continues to shine through. You can measure how fast a guy runs and how high he jumps, but you can't measure how much heart he has -- even though there's nothing more important."
Joining former Florida secondary teammate Quincy Wilson as part of the draft class, Tabor led the Gators in both passes defended (10) and interceptions (four) this season, earning First Team All-SEC honors.
Formally known as Jalen, Tabor plays with the aggressive temperament and "my ball" mentality that NFL coaches covet at the position. He is patient and balanced in press coverage with the fluid hip action to open and redirect, staying on top of routes. Tabor has the footwork to play both press and off coverage and leverages well vs. the run, attacking downhill with a physical demeanor.
Tabor's speed has been questioned by scouts so his testing numbers during the process will be important. But aside from his speed, the position comes naturally to him, trusting his skills and understanding situations.
Off the field, Tabor will be put under the microscope by NFL teams. He was suspended multiple times throughout his Florida career, including in the 2016 season opener following a violent altercation with a teammate. Tabor has also reportedly violated the school's drug abuse policy.
With strong interviews and testing numbers, Tabor can help secure his stats as one of the top defensive backs in the 2017 class and likely top-20 selection.
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