Vernon Hargreaves III Will Be Top-5 Pick in 2016 NFL Draft


There’s no other way to explain it. There has to be something in that Gainesville swamp water that continues to pump out standout corner backs.

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Vernon Hargreaves III is the latest potential shutdown defensive back to emerge from the wreckage that was the Florida Gators 2014 season.

Following the footsteps of NFL All-Pro Joe Haden, Hargreaves III came into Florida as a highly regarded, five-star recruit from Tampa, FL.

He immediately started in his 2013 freshman year, making more of an impact than Daenerys Targaryen dragons in a surprise assassination attempt (for all you Game of Thrones fans).

He recorded 38 tackles and three interceptions in 10 games in 2013 and promptly followed that in 2014 with 50 tackles, two forced fumbles and three more interceptions.

The man just has a knack for taking away the football, something you simply can’t just teach.

NFL Comparison: Darrelle Revis/ Joe Haden


Hargreaves has good, albeit not great size for a corner at 5’11, 198 pounds. He uses his physicality to body check receivers and battle them for jump balls in the end zone, keeping offenses searching for ways to score.

Apr 11, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (1) defends the ball during the second half at the Orange and Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Orange defeated Blue 31-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hargreaves has the speed to keep up with his opposition, where he’s been clocked at a 40-time of 4.38. Besides straight-line speed, he’s also very agile and quick at the hips, allowing him to shift and change direction effortlessly.

When it comes to straight up man-to-man coverage, Hargreaves is the best in the country, hands down. He’s able to be glued to the opposing receiver, yet somehow manage not to be flagged for penalties.

  • He’s produced and shut down premium SEC talent like Odell Beckham Jr. and Amari Cooper.
  • At such a young age, Hargreaves displays awareness and football smarts beyond his years, something he’s had since he stepped on to Gainesville.


    • Some might say he can be a bit too confident, borderline cocky when it comes to his skills (I think that’s a strength as a corner back).
    • Hargreaves does have to put on a little more weight to survive with the giants of the NFL. Will that affect his speed and shiftiness?
    • There are questions about his zone coverage skills, as he wasn’t asked to do so in Will Muschamp’s defense much. If he is able to show he has adequate to good zone coverage skills, he’ll be a sure fire top-5 pick. Book it.

    With all this being said, Hargreaves looks to be the best defensive back in the country and should be the first defensive back taken in the 2016 NFL Draft.

    Or he could shock everyone and return to Florida for his senior season.

    Either way, Hargreaves 2015 season will be an exciting one to watch, as we could quite possibly be watching one of the greatest defensive players to ever play in Gator history.

    What do you think Gator fans? Will Hargreaves step up and become the top-5 NFL pick that he seems destined to be? Tell us what you think!

    Next: Top 5 Defensive Backs in Gators History