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Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Roberson star in Florida secondary


This is the last of a position-by-position look at the best tandems of NFL prospects in the Southeastern Conference this season. We tried to veer away from superstars and their sidekicks, instead looking to highlight truly strong pairs where the headliner and the supporting role are harder to distinguish, and where a pro career is most promising for both. High-level production last season was a must.

Defensive backs: Florida's Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson

SEC's best tandems

NFL Draft 365's Chase Goodbread takes a position-by-position look at the best tandems of NFL prospects in the Southeastern Conference in 2013.

» RB: Georgia's Gurley and Marshall
» WR: Vanderbilt's Matthews and Boyd
» OL: Tennessee's Richardson and James
» DL: South Carolina's Clowney and Quarles
» LB: Alabama's Hubbard and Mosley
» CB: Florida's Purifoy and Roberson

Purifoy has outstanding coverage skills and ranks 24th among the 50 top pro prospects, according to's Daniel Jeremiah. That's awfully high regard for a guy who has yet to make his first career interception. But Purifoy's combination of size (6-1) and speed aren't easy to find. He made 51 tackles last season with five pass breakups and three forced fumbles. He is also a standout on special teams. The only question is how much the junior will play on the defensive side of the ball this season. Purifoy is expected to practice extensively at the wide receiver position in fall camp as the Gators look for answers in a beleaguered receiving corps. If Purifoy electrifies the UF offense, scouts could in turn consider him as an offensive prospect. If scouts continue to prefer him as a defensive back, they may have to rely heavily on his sophomore game film for evaluations if he spends much of the 2013 season on offense.

Roberson isn't quite as big as Purifoy, but he has developed into one of the top cover corners in the SEC. He delivered 12 pass breakups last season and two interceptions while making 22 tackles. The Gators defense calls for plenty of man-to-man coverage from the cornerbacks, which has placed Roberson under some high pressure the last two seasons, and he has responded well. The UF official roster lists him at only 178 pounds, but reports indicate he has added some much needed size of late, which will go a long way to help his NFL draft stock. Jeremiah ranked Roberson just ahead of Purifoy on his top 50 list, at No. 23. Like Purifoy, Roberson approaches his junior season this fall with an opportunity to turn pro early for the 2014 draft if he has a strong campaign.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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