GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Going into its ninth year, Florida's annual Friday Night Lights camp continues to pack a punch when it comes to getting the top high school football players to set foot in the Swamp. Over the years dozens of future NFL stars have worked out or watched from the sidelines. GatorBait.net is here to remind you of some of the legends who have competed at the Swamp, featuring 10 first-round NFL Draft picks and more than 25 total players taken in the NFL Draft.
Florida safety Matt Elam is one of two participants from the 2009 edition of Friday Night Lights to be drafted in 2013.
Listed below are Friday Night Lights participants over the years sorted by NFL Draft round. Players who attended FNL but did not compete are listed with an asterisk.
QB Tim Tebow, 2005 (Florida) -- New England Patriots: The Florida Heisman winner was drafted by the Broncos and took them to the playoffs during his two years there before he was traded to the New York Jets in 2012. He was released this spring and picked up by the New England Patriots.
QB Cam Newton, 2006 (Florida, Auburn) -- Carolina Panthers: After winning a Heisman Trophy at Auburn, Newton took the league by storm as the first overall pick. He was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year and has become one of the league's better quarterbacks.
RB Trent Richardson, 2008 (Alabama) -- Cleveland Browns: Richardson ran all over the SEC before becoming the third overall pick in 2012 and putting together a very good rookie season in Cleveland.
* RB C.J. Spiller, 2005 (Clemson) -- Buffalo Bills: The Bills drafted Spiller with the ninth overall pick. He has been their workhorse back ever since despite struggling with injuries.
* OL Maurkice Pouncey, 2006 (Florida) -- Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers drafted Pouncey in 2010 and he instantly turned into a three-time Pro-Bowler.
* OL Mike Pouncey, 2006 (Florida) -- Miami Dolphins: Like his brother, Pouncey turned into one of the better centers in the league after being drafted in 2011. He started all 16 games during his rookie season.
CB Patrick Peterson, 2007 (LSU) -- Arizona Cardinals: After a fantastic career at LSU, Peterson was drafted fifth overall. He has quickly become a two-time Pro-Bowler and should challenge Darrelle Revis for the title of NFL's best cornerback.
CB Joe Haden, 2006 (Florida) -- Cleveland Browns: Haden jumped to the pro ranks after his junior year and was taken seventh overall by the Browns. He has become one of the league's top cornerbacks.
CB Dre Kirkpatrick, 2008 (Alabama) -- Cincinnati Bengals: Kirkpatrick had a terrific career at Alabama before being taken with the 17th pick in the 2012 draft. He had a quiet rookie season.
* S Matt Elam, 2009 (Florida) -- Baltimore Ravens: Elam left school early and barely snuck into the first round in 2013. He'll be expected to replace Bernard Pollard, who left Baltimore in the offseason.
WR Greg Little, 2006 (North Carolina) -- Cleveland Browns: After being ruled ineligible his senior season by the NCAA for lying to investigator about receiving impermissible benefits, the Browns took a chance on him in the second round of the 2011 draft. His rookie season, he led the Browns in receptions (61) and receiving yards (709).
OL Marcus Gilbert, 2005 (Florida) -- Pittsburgh Steelers: Following a productive year at Florida, he was taken as a second-round pick in 2011 and quickly became the Steelers' Rookie of the Year. Has plenty of NFL starting experience now.
* LB Jermaine Cunningham, 2005 (Florida) -- New England Patriots: The Patriots drafted Cunningham in 2010 and turned him into an outside linebacker after a productive career at Florida at defensive end.
LB Jon Bostic, 2008 (Florida) -- Chicago Bears: Bostic was taken in the second round after a very productive four-year career at Florida. He's being looked at as a potential replacement for Brian Urlacher.
CB Janoris Jenkins, 2007 (Florida, North Alabama) -- St. Louis Rams: Jenkins' tumultuous college career didn't keep him from going in the second round of the 2012 draft and quickly becoming one of the most productive rookie defensive players in the league.
CB Brandon Harris, 2007 (Miami) -- Houston Texans: After a quick three-year career at Miami, Harris entered the NFL Draft and was taken by the Texans. He has just 17 tackles and three passes defended in two years.
TE Jordan Reed, 2008 (Florida) -- Washington Redskins: Reed worked out as a quarterback at Friday Night Lights, but did his best work at Florida as a tight end, earning himself a third-round draft selection by the Redskins in the 2013 draft.
DE Corey Lemonier, 2009 (Auburn) -- San Francisco 49ers: Lemonier was one of the few productive players remaining after Auburn's title run in 2010. He left early to become a third-round pick in the 2013 draft.
S Major Wright, 2006 (Florida) -- Chicago Bears: Wright was an impact player as a freshman and left early for the NFL. He was drafted by the Bears in 2010 and has become a productive starter in the league.
RB Lamar Miller, 2007 (Miami) -- Miami Dolphins: Drafted in the fourth round by the Dolphins in 2012, Miller had a quiet rookie season but could compete for the starting job this fall.
RB Jamie Harper, 2007 (Clemson) -- Tennessee Titans: The Titans took Harper in the fourth round in 2011, but the Clemson running back has done next to nothing so far in the league.
WR Travis Benjamin, 2007 (Miami) -- Cleveland Browns: Benjamin was drafted by the Browns in 2012 and had some special teams highlights as a rookie, along with a decent year receiving.
WR Joe Adams, 2007 (Arkansas) -- Carolina Panthers: Adams was an electrifying play-maker at Arkansas before the Panthers drafted him in 2012. He didn't have a particularly productive rookie season.
QB Denard Robinson, 2008 (Michigan) -- Jacksonville Jaguars: Florida passed on Robinson as a quarterback only to watch him light it up at Michigan and turn into a fifth-round pick as an all-around offensive weapon for the Jaguars in the 2013 draft.
RB Chris Rainey, 2006 (Florida) -- Pittsburgh Steelers: Following a five-year career at Florida, the Steelers took a risk on Rainey in the 2012 draft. He was released in January and is currently a free agent.
RB Jonathan Dwyer, 2006 (Georgia Tech) -- Pittsburgh Steelers: After being drafted by the Steelers in 2010, Dwyer finally made the most of his chances when injuries thrust him into the starting role late last year.
OL Sam Young, 2005 (Notre Dame) -- Buffalo Bills: After being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2010, the former Notre Dame star was claimed off waivers by the Bills in 2011 and has been a productive player there.
Other Notable Participants
RB Caleb King (Georgia)
WR Tim Hawthorne (Auburn)
DL Kiante Tripp (Georgia)
LB Kevin Alexander (Clemson)
CB Jai Eugene (LSU)
S Jamar Hornsby (Florida, Ole Miss)
QB Stephen Garcia (South Carolina)
RB Enrique Davis (Ole Miss)
WR Terrence Toliver (LSU)
OL Elvis Fisher (Missouri)
OL J.B. Shugarts (Ohio State)
DL Ben Martin (Tennessee)
QB Tate Forcier (Michigan)
RB Jeff Demps (Florida)
TE Chase Clement (LSU)
LB Jerrell Harris (Alabama)
LB Ramon Buchanan (Miami)
* S Will Hill (Florida)
WR Duron Carter (Ohio State)
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