Jonathan Bullard Has To Lead Gators Defense in 2015


The 2015 college football season is set to be a year of redemption for the Florida Gators, none more so than for Jonathan Bullard.

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After ending his junior year on a disappointing note, Bullard received even more disappointing news about his potential draft stock in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Bullard tallied 52 tackles including 8.5 tackles-for-loss in 2014. He even had 13 stops on third down, third most on the squad.

However, Bullard was deafly quiet in the pass rush department, only notching 2.5 sacks  12 games, making scouts think twice over selecting Bullard early in the Draft.

The 6’3, 277 pound DE/DT decided to come back to Florida and improve upon some of his obvious skills as a defender.

Bullard is just another of the latest star defensive linemen to come through Gainesville which includes names like Dante Fowler Jr., Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley.

The Gators need the former 5-star recruit to lead their defense in 2015 and grow from a rock-solid, good player, into an impact, defensive star.

The good thing for Bullard is that he has some talented teammates on defense with him, specifically Vernon Hargreaves III, the best corner back in the country.

Related: Ranking the top-5 Gator Defensive Linemen of all-time

The other good thing is that Shelby, North Carolina native seems to have the motivation and the talent to produce for UF.

Bullard told CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson that, “As a veteran player coming back, I want be a leader on this team as the program enters a new era with a new coaching staff.”

There’s no denying that Bullard’s game has some very good, NFL traits to it. There are also some many things Bullard needs to improve if he hopes to be selected early in next year’s Draft.

“As a veteran player coming back, I want be a leader on this team as the program enters a new era with a new coaching staff”


-Can play a variety of positions along the defensive line and hold his own.

-Solid run defender and good tackler as a defensive end.

-Has the ability to disengage run blockers and throw them to the side.

-Much more of a disrupter on the edge of the defensive line where his quickness becomes more of a factor.

-Great pursuit; Bullard never seems to tire chasing the ball carrier.

-Really smart and aware player. Very hard to fool in the run game and always seems to be in the right position.

Oct 18, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (90) against the Missouri Tigers during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Missouri Tigers defeated the Florida Gators 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


-Size and length often work against him where he often gets stonewalled by opposing linemen with a longer reach, especially when playing as a defensive tackle.

-Has to get stronger at the point of attack and disrupt offensive plays rather than just react to them.

-Inconsistent burst and acceleration off the line. At times Bullard has good timing off the snap, but he is consistently inconsistent with getting a good jump off the snap.

-Pass rushing skills need a lot of work. Doesn’t seem to have a go-to move pass rushing move.

Bullard is definitely a talented defender and the Gators will rely on him to anchor their defense upfront.

He needs to improve in defending the passing game and become more of threat to the quarterback.

I believe Bullard will make that jump and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bullard is mentioned as a possible first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Will Jonathan Bullard break out in 2015 and become a leader for the Gators? Let us know what you think!

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