What we learned at SEC Media Days: Tabor 'right there' with VH3

HOOVER, Ala. -- Just a year after placing Vernon Hargreaves as the No. 11 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Florida Gators have another star cornerback -- just as good, according to teammate Marcus Maye -- waiting to fill Hargreaves' void.

"(Hargreaves) was one of the best to come through our program, but Jalen is right there," Maye said Monday at SEC Media Days, motioning with his hands that the two, as players, are essentially a draw. "He's going to be the next one."

As a junior, Tabor could be eligible for either the 2017 or 2018 NFL drafts. He's been ranked the No. 1 defensive back in college football by NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein, and even Hargreaves himself has acknowledged that Tabor likely outplayed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' prized draft pick last season. Tabor broke up 14 passes for UF last season and added four interceptions, leading the team in both categories.

In their two seasons together at Florida, Tabor and Hargreaves spent plenty of time together.

"We'd play a game Saturday, and Sunday we're already onto the next team, and they were both in there watching (film of) who they have to go up against," said Maye, one of the top safeties in the SEC. "Throughout the week, they'd practice hard, they'd make sure their bodies are taken care of in the weight room and the training room. And their confidence levels were through the roof."

Indeed, confidence has never been an issue for Tabor, whom Maye described as a "talker" on the field.

By all indications, the Gators' star is ready to back up his talk this fall.

Here are six other things we learned Monday at SEC Media Days:

Backing Bret: Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema have had their differences, but Malzahn revealed one topic on which they agree: reform that would allow undrafted underclassmen to return to the college gridiron.

"I'm open to anything, especially the guys that go undrafted. I think that is something to definitely look into. I know Bret from Arkansas, we talked about that, and I thought that was probably a good idea at least to discuss," Malzahn said.

Bielema first floated the idea in a radio interview less than two weeks after Razorbacks offensive lineman Denver Kirkland, who entered the 2016 NFL Draft as an underclassman, went unselected. The Oakland Raiders later picked up Kirkland as an undrafted free agent.

Lawson comp: Auburn's Carl Lawson said San Diego Chargers LB Melvin Ingram is among the players after whom he patterns his game, and he's careful about whom he wants to learn from.

"I like to watch guys that are kind of similar to me and take stuff from people I can take stuff from. I can't go watch J.J. Watt and do some of the things J.J. Watt does. I like guys in that 6-1, 6-3 range that I can learn from," Lawson (6-foot-2, 253 pounds) told College Football 24/7. And what makes his game similar to Ingram's? "Arm length, get-off, size, things like that," Lawson added.

Davis taking improvement seriously: Florida's Jarrad Davis had some self-reflective thoughts about NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein's recent scouting profile on him. If he cleans up the one part of his game that Zierlein sees as a concern, there won't be much left for NFL scouts to pick apart.

McElwain, Del Rio have long history: Luke Del Rio, son of Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, is a strong candidate to start for Florida this fall at quarterback. And while UF coach Jim McElwain wasn't about to handicap Del Rio's competition with Austin Appleby, he did say his relationship with the Del Rio family goes back a lot further than Del Rio's transfer to UF after the 2014 season.

"I've known Luke a long time. I think he was an eighth grader when he came to camp at Alabama. And Jack, when they were in Colorado (during Del Rio's time as Denver Broncos defensive coordinator), he's a guy we stayed in touch with a lot," McElwain said. "... I had a brief stint with the Raiders, so I'm kind of a Raiders fan, and I'm excited for Jack."

McElwain was the Raiders' quarterbacks coach in 2006.

Quotable: "You think of linebackers in the NFL, over time, Ray Lewis is the best to ever do it, you think of Derrick Brooks. Now you've got guys like Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner ... I try to steal little tips from each and every guy, but I don't want to model my game after one specific person because they've already done it. Ray Lewis has already been Ray Lewis. But who has been Jarrad Davis? That's how I carry myself." -- Davis on who he considers to be his NFL comparision.

Dream team for Tabor: Tabor wasn't among UF's three player representatives at SEC Media Days. So since he couldn't be there in person, he held his own Q&A via social media on Monday, and revealed which NFL club he'd most like to be drafted by: the Washington Redskins. The preference came with no explanation, nor any indication of whether Tabor intends to make himself available to the Redskins in 2017 or 2018.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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