Taven Bryan draws crowd at UF Pro Day, Matt Elam & Antonio Callaway look to mend bad reps
Florida football hosted Pro Day today and defensive lineman Taven Bryan drew one of the event's biggest crowds.
“Tape's really what matters honestly and I feel like I have really exceptional tape, especially for a 4-3 defense.”
Bryan is expected to be a first round pick, but that hasn't stopped him from thinking of ways he could have improved his stock.
"You always want to do better, so sometimes you want to be the first pick but it's just not realistic," Bryan said. "You always wonder how you could do a little bit better. Maybe improve a little better, maybe I could have interviewed a little bit better. Just working at the small things to get better at what I do.
"I just want to come out there and be the best I possibly can and prove I'm a first round pick. I'd really like to play exceptionally well next year."
Antonio Callaway and Matt Elam have tainted reputations, and are trying to overcome that heading into the NFL Draft and 2018 season.
“I’m a big believer people deserve second chances in anything," Florida head coach Dan Mullen said. “A lot of (Callaway's) gonna come down to interviews with people. Here’s some mistakes I’ve made, here’s how I’ve corrected it in my life and here’s the type of man I’m gonna be moving forward.”
Callaway found success as a Gator, becoming the third-fastest player at Florida to reach 1,000 receiving yards, but his success was derailed after he was suspended the entire 2017 season.
“I was young, I was dumb, I was immature," said wide receiver Callaway. "I’ve matured. I’m past that. I don’t dwell on that. There’s only so much I can do so whoever takes a shot with me I’m gonna give them everything I’ve got. They won’t be disappointed.”
Elam was a first round pick for the Ravens in 2013, and Baltimore decided against keeping him around a fifth year after the 2016 season. Then, he was arrested on multiple occasions in 2017 and couldn’t get a team to bite despite charges being dropped.
The safety became emotional when talking with press after his Pro Day participation.
“It’s been a year off for me," Elam said. "I’m trying to get myself right mentally for my family and to show these people I deserve a second chance. "
And the hardest part of 2017 for Elam?
"Not being out there playing the game I love. Seeing guys I played in college with, guys who were under me, just seeing them balling out. Seeing them ball out hurt me, 'cause I know they looked up to me.”