For Florida fans, especially recruitniks closely following scholarship numbers, it’s the time of the year to start speculating about whether juniors will be back for a senior season or leave early for the NFL. On Florida’s roster, running backs Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine, wide receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Van Jefferson, RT Jawaan Taylor, defensive ends Jachai Polite and Jabari Zuniga and DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson could all be seen as candidates to leave early for the NFL.

Coach Dan Mullen, however, isn’t sure many of the junior Gators are NFL-ready.

“I don’t know if we have a lot of pro guys on our team right now, to be honest with you,” Mullen said Thursday night on his weekly radio show. “That might be shocking to some people, and especially to guys in the locker room, because the NFL is a different animal. I know everybody just assumes, ‘Oh, well I play at Florida, so I’m going to the NFL.’ That’s certainly not the case. That certainly has not anything to do with it.”

To further his point, he shared the experience one of his former Mississippi State players, Kansas City Chiefs DE Chris Jones.

“I had a guy named Chris Jones who’s a star right now for the Kansas City Chiefs, and he came in and he’s like, ‘I’m going to declare early for the draft and I’m going to be a first-round pick,'” Mullen said. “I said, ‘First off, you’re not going to be a first-round pick. If you come back for your senior year you’ll be a top-10 pick. But you’re going to be a late first, early second.'”

Jones ended up going in the second round as Mullen predicted and wished he had listened to his coach.

“(He) got drafted early second round and he came back, looked at the team, and the said, ‘Whatever coach tells you, you listen to every single word he says. Because everyone in the world told me I was going to be drafted here, every agent, my family, every friend, and he told me exactly where I was going to get drafted. And guess what? That’s exactly where I got drafted,'” Mullen said.

While none of the juniors have announced a decision yet, Scarlett, a fourth-year redshirt junior, indicated that he was leaving for the NFL last month when he referred to the Florida-Georgia as likely his last time playing in the rivalry.

[H/T Swamp247]