Broncos select former Florida WR Tyrie Cleveland with 252nd pick in 2020 NFL Draft

Tyrie Cleveland will continue to suit up in orange and blue.

The former Gators wide receiver was selected by the Denver Broncos with the 252nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Cleveland becomes the seventh Gator to be drafted this weekend, the 356th Gator draftee all time and the 80th since the 2007 Draft.

Cleveland reeled in 79 catches for 1,271 yards and eight touchdowns in his four years at Florida. A great start to his career raised expectations for the back end of it, but it just never materialized. And thus, a third or fourth round talent fell to the bottom of the seventh round.

The talent is there. Cleveland is a sensational athlete who flashed that intermittently throughout his career, most notably for a 98 yard touchdown against LSU in 2016 and a walk-off 63 yard touchdown catch against Tennessee in 2017. He’s got great size, is both quick and fast and has very reliable and strong hands. He knows how to high point the football and can beat out a lot of defenders for jump balls.

But the consistency was not there at Florida, some of which wasn’t his fault and some of which was. Various quarterback and coaching issues throughout his career hurt his production, as did having to share the spotlight with several other talented receivers. The question at the next level for Cleveland becomes, can he put it together on a more frequent basis? His route running could be better, as he relied on defensive busts for some of his bigger plays as a Gator and struggled at times to get separation from his defender.

At the end of the day, Tyrie Cleveland produced some of the biggest plays in recent Gator football history, and he departs having left behind many fond memories. So of course, as I do with all former Gators not named Brock Berlin, I wish him all the best as he heads off to start the next chapter of his football life.

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