The senior Bowl practices are in full swing as we speak, and Bengals Owner Mike Brown has made his way to Mobile, Alabama to observe some of the future NFL players who could be in Cincinnati when the 2013 season kicks-off. Runningback is a position that they will be looking at with great interest this week, and apparently Brown already has his eyes on one prospect, and that would be Florida Gator Mike Gillislee:
#Bengals owner/GM Mike Brown was just taking to his scouts about Florida RB Mike Gilleslee. Likes him.
— RosterWatch (@RosterWatch) January 22, 2013
Gillislee is currently projected to be drafted on Day 3, around the 4th or 5th round.
Gillislee is a markedly improved player as a Senior, but where I see the most improvement is in pass protection. Against Texas A&M, he had some pancake blocks and showed he can be a three down back. After having just 10 touchdown runs in his first three seasons as a Gator, Gillislee has come out in 2012 and put up some big numbers, including an average of just under six yards per carry and five touchdowns through the first four games of the season. Gillislee does a good job of reading the play and using his vision, cutting upfield quickly. Not a burner, but definitely has some speed to the outside and runs tough on the inside. He has been one of the best, toughest seniors in his class in the 2012 season, and I think that some team will be able to get him in the mid-late rounds and get some kind of a steal here. Gillislee may not ever be a featured back in the NFL, but he has the potential to be a very productive reserve if he can stay healthy.