Florida has lost another underclassman to the NFL Draft.
Linebacker VoSean Joseph has declared his intentions to forgo his senior season and enter the professional ranks. Joseph becomes the fourth non-senior from Florida to do so thus far after Jachai Polite, Jawaan Taylor and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.
It’s not a surprise that Joseph is leaving early, although many thought he should come back for his senior season to shore up his draft stock. Depending on who you trust, Joseph ranged from a third to a sixth round projection. But nobody can debate the fact that Joseph is a tremendous hitter with great instincts, and has the type of sky high upside that teams go crazy for. He’s not the fastest linebacker in the world, but he’s fast enough and improved his tackling significantly by the time his career in Gainesville drew to a close. Ideally, he comes back in 2019 to continue to improve in that area, but if he does so quickly enough at the next level he could enjoy a long NFL career.
As for the hole it leaves Florida in at the linebacker spot opposite David Reese moving forward? It hurts, but he’s not irreplaceable. The Gators don’t have a surplus of depth at linebacker next year, but there’s plenty of promise from guys like Jeremiah Moon, Kylan Johnson and James Houston IV, who have played sparingly behind Joseph and Reese these past few years, but overall performed well when their numbers were called. Houston in particular is a guy to keep an eye on; he learned a ton from Joseph and Reese in their time together. So assuming Reese is healthy, Florida should be just fine at the middle level of its defense.
Regardless: Joseph will be missed. Go get paid, Vo.