GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Taven Bryan’s draft stock has more to do with potential than production.

The Florida defensive tackle had 67 tackles, including 5 sacks, in three seasons with the Gators. He was a 6-foot-4, 291-pound enigma his first two years in Gainesville, but came on as a junior in 2017. He had 40 tackles last season, including six for loss and four sacks, while playing solely inside.

He really played well down the stretch, showing a quick first step and the ability to disrupt offenses. Although he never took over a game, he routinely demanded double teams on a defense that lacked depth and talent up front.

NFL scouts and general managers believe Bryan is just getting started. That’s why he’s widely considered a first-round pick and a lock to be the first Florida player chosen when the three-day draft begins Thursday night.

”It would mean a lot really,” Bryan said at Florida’s pro day last month. ”You always want to be better. You want to be the first pick, but sometimes that’s not realistic. You always wonder like how you could do a little bit better, maybe improved a little better, maybe interview a little better. Just working at the small things to get better at what I do.”

Bryan admittedly took his football talent for granted early in his college career.

He realized he was blessed physically, but he never thought much about it. He would casually talk about bench-pressing 450 pounds or squatting more than 600 pounds.

Teammates recant stories of his work ethic and weight-room feats.

”Squat, bench, curl, whatever it is, that man is a beast,” Florida defensive end Keivonnis Davis said. ”Like a real-life beast. … He’s a monster.”

Added Gators running back Lamical Perine: ”We would have a full workout, and he