Mel Kiper thinks Florida’s Emory Jones could become a first-round pick

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Emory Jones didn’t make Mel Kiper Jr.’s Big Board of the top 25 prospects in college football nor did he make it on the analyst’s top 11 quarterbacks list heading into the season. But the senior ESPN analyst said that the Gators quarterback has the potential to shoot up draft boards as the season goes on.

“You think about a 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pounder with a strong arm and tremendous running skills that drives defenses nuts — this kid, Emory Jones, it’s his time to shine at the Swamp,” Kiper said on SportsCenter Friday morning. “If he does, with his skill set as a dual-threat quarterback, Emory Jones at Florida is a name to keep an eye on.”

The conversation came after Scott Van Pelt remembered names like Joe Burrow and Zach Wilson turning into first-rounders over a single season. Kiper considered naming Texas Tech’s Tyler Shough as this season’s potential breakout candidate but gave Jones the edge thanks to Gators coach Dan Mullen.

“He plays for Dan Mullen,” Kiper said. “He’s been developed. Mullen is kind of a quarterback whisperer. He develops quarterbacks, that’s the bottom line. Remember Dak Prescott what he did with him at Mississippi State?”

Jones is replacing Kyle Trask, who led the Gators to the SEC Championship Game last season in his own breakout year. Trask was selected by Tampa Bay in the second round, but Jones is a very different player than him. If Jones can take down Georgia and get back to the conference championship, he might have a shot at making Kiper’s prediction come true.

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