Gators kicker Eddy Pineiro leaving school early for NFL draft

Eddy Pineiro
Logan Bowles/USA TODAY Sports

Eddy Pineiro arrived at the University of Florida with a cult following built off the back of 70-yard field goals posted to YouTube. In two years with the Gators, he lived up to his Paul Bunyan-esque stature connecting on 38 of 43 field goals and 56 of 58 extra points.

Now, he’s off to the NFL.

Kickers aren’t typically drafted highly in the NFL; that won’t change whether he comes out now or if he had played his senior season. Pineiro’s accuracy and leg strength, he’s 5-for-5 in his career on field goal attempts over 50 yards, should see him drafted somewhere in the middle to later rounds.

With nothing left to prove in college and no opportunity to better his draft stock, this move is not unexpected. As such, Dan Mullen had already begun preparing for life without Pineiro receiving a commitment from placekicker Evan McPherson earlier in December.

McPherson (6 feet 0, 165 pounds), from Fort Payne (Ala.) High in northeast Alabama, is considered one of the top three prep kickers in the nation. He had been committed to Mississippi State since the spring.

RELATED: Florida’s top remaining recruiting targets for Class of 2018.


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