NoleGameday

NFL Mock Draft: ‘Nole Edition

Each year, Florida State churns out an incredible amount of talent in the NFL Draft. They lead the draft in total selections in both 2012 and 2014, highlighted by the first overall selection of Jameis Winston by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This year, Florida State will put only a handful of players in the league. Jalen Ramsey is the big name this year and is a player that many expect to go anywhere from No. 1 overall to fifth overall.

Because they will only send a small number of players to the NFL, Florida State returns an incredible amount of talent next year. FSU will return every offensive starter and has recruited blue-chip talent well to fill the holes on defense. Although the 2016 NFL Draft has yet to begin, it is easy to see that Florida State could continue to have double-digit draft picks in 2017 and 2018. Let’s take a look and see how things could shake out for Florida State in future drafts.

2016 NFL Draft

Round 1 – Jalen Ramsey, CB, 6-1, 209 lbs., junior

Perhaps the best overall player in the 2016 class, Jalen Ramsey is everything you want from a defensive back. He’s big, physical and has a knack for making incredible plays on the ball in the air. Pair that with his alpha-dog personality and it’s easy to see why NFL teams are falling in love with his game. He could be the first defensive back drafted with the top pick since Gary Glick in 1956.

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Jalen Ramsey will be a playmaker wherever NFL teams ask him to line up.

Round 3 – Roberto Aguayo, K, 6-1, 204 lbs., redshirt junior

In an era of pro football where the extra point is suddenly more valuable, Roberto Aguayo’s draft stock is through the roof. He leaves FSU as the NCAA leader in completed kick percentage and should have an easy transition to the NFL. Look for a team with kicker needs to snag him late on day two.

Round 4 – Nile Lawrence-Stample, DT, 6-1, 302 lbs., redshirt senior

Unfortunately for Nile Lawrence-Stample, the 2016 draft is absolutely loaded at defensive tackle. Still, he’s a great player in his own right. While he won’t give you in terms of rushing the passer, Lawrence-Stample is stout against the run and isn’t an easy body to move.

Round 5 – Terrance Smith, LB, 6-4, 230 lbs., redshirt senior

Terrance Smith’s career at FSU was hampered by injuries and those will definitely factor into his draft stock. However, he is a three-year starter at linebacker and has the size and speed to play at the next level. If he can stay healthy, Smith could have a long career in the NFL.

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Terrance Smith has proven time and time again that he is capable of making plays on the biggest stages.

Round 7 – Giorgio Newberry, DE, 6-6, 295 lbs., redshirt senior

While he was never a starter at FSU, Newberry has a quasi-breakout season last year at defensive end under the tutelage of Brad Lawing. He has great size and is likely a 3-4 end at the next level. Newberry didn’t test particularly well, but teams often take a shot at projects in the later portions of the draft.

Round 7 – Lamarcus Brutus, S, 6-0, 207 lbs., redshirt senior

Lamarcus Brutus was a one-year starter for FSU, but made the most of his opportunity. He became a leader on the defense and lead the team in interceptions. Brutus isn’t the most athletic defensive back, but is strong in run support and could get taken late in the draft.

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Lamarcus Brutus has the sideline-to-sideline range that is required of NFL safeties.

2017 NFL Draft

Round 1 – Dalvin Cook, RB, 5-11, 206 lbs., junior

No question here. Despite the fact that the 2017 draft will be absolutely loaded at running back, Cook is definitely a first round talent. Leonard Fournette might be the first back off the board, but Cook is likely a Top 10 pick due to his speed, vision and insane burst.

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Dalvin Cook is one of the best running backs in the country for making runs like this versus Miami as a true freshman.

Round 1 – Roderick Johnson, OT, 6-7, 307 lbs., junior

Cam Robinson will likely be the first offensive tackle off the board in 2017, but Big Rod could be the second offensive tackle if he has a good junior year. After stepping in as a true freshman, Johnson has proven that he can play against the best pass rushers and should continue to improve as a junior.

Round 2 – Marquez White, CB, 6-0, 181 lbs., senior

Marquez White decided to spurn the NFL for one more year as a Seminole and will enter 2016 as the Seminoles’ best cornerback. It is yet to be seen if he’ll move to the boundary position next year, but the former basketball player was quietly one of the better cover cornerbacks in college football last season.

Round 2 – DeMarcus Walker, DE, 6-3, 273 lbs., senior

The unquestioned leader of this Florida State team, Walker decided to return to FSU after totaling 10.5 sacks in 2015. A monster off of the edge, Walker should improve after another offseason under Brad Lawing. Walker is more of a power player, going through offensive tackles rather than around them, and should be a Senior Bowl invite as well.

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DeMarcus Walker uses his strength to overpower offensive linemen.

Round 3 – Travis Rudolph, WR, 6-1, 189 lbs., junior

If Travis Rudolph continues his development, he could easily make the jump to the NFL. The Seminoles leading receiver in 2015, Rudolph added to his highlight reel with impressive performances versus Syracuse and Houston last year. Rudolph still has to work on catching the ball in traffic, but is a good route runner and plays more physical than his frame gives off.

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Travis Rudolph has elite skills after the catch.

Round 3 – Matthew Thomas, LB, 6-3, 227 lbs., redshirt junior

Surprised? Matthew Thomas has been anything but reliable during his tenure at FSU, but is in line to start in 2016 if he’s healthy and eligible. A former five-star prospect, Thomas is FSU’s most talented linebacker and could declare for the draft if he has a good junior season.

Round 3 – Kareem Are, OG, 6-6, 334 lbs., redshirt senior

Despite missing time for injury, Kareem Are was one of FSU’s better offensive linemen in 2015. He has great size and is a mauler in the run game as well. If he continues to develop, he could end up being one of the better guard prospects in the 2017 draft.

Round 3 – Derrick Nnadi, DT, 6-1, 303 lbs., junior

A former blue-chip recruit, Nnadi worked himself into the rotation and earned a starting job in 2015. Nnadi plays with good strength and developed as a pass rusher throughout his sophomore season. If he continues this trend, Nnadi could go a lot earlier if he declares as a junior.

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Derrick Nnadi can easily overpower interior offensive linemen who stand in his way.

Round 5 – Kermit Whitfield, WR, 5-8, 180 lbs., senior

Kermit Whitfield had a breakout season in 2015 when he finished second in receiving yards and touchdowns. Kermit proved to the coaching staff that he’s not just a return threat, but a legitimate receiver as well. He is a great slot receiver and has a chance to break Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record at the Combine.

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Kermit Whitfield doesn’t just have good football speed, he has world-class track speed.

Round 6 – Freddie Stevenson, FB, 6-1, 243 lbs., senior

Although only one or two fullbacks are drafted each year, Freddie Stevenson has a chance to be in that minority. He greatly improved as a blocker in 2015 and has shown at times that he can be a receiving threat as well.

Round 7 – Nate Andrews, S, 6-0, 210 lbs., senior

A four-year contributor for the Seminoles, Nate Andrews has proven time and time again that he’s capable of turning the ball over and making plays for the Seminoles. He has limitations in coverage, but could move into more of a nickel linebacker role in the league.

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Nate Andrews is at his best when his eyes are on the quarterback and he can make a play on the ball in the air.

Round 7 – Bobo Wilson, WR, 5-10, 186 lbs., senior

Over the course of his career, Bobo Wilson has been one of FSU’s better receivers. He will be strictly a slot receiver in the league, but is a good route runner. Wilson will have to work on catching the ball more consistently during his senior season but has a good shot of getting drafted.

2018 NFL Draft

Round 1 – Josh Sweat, DE, 6-5, 236 lbs., junior

The former top recruit in the nation, Sweat has made a freakish recovery from his knee injury he suffered as a high school senior. As a freshman, he flashed the elite speed that made him a monster off of the edge and was one of FSU’s better run stoppers. If he continues to develop as a pass rusher and adds more weight, he could easily draw comparisons to Jadeveon Clowney as a draft prospect.

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Josh Sweat was one of FSU’s most dynamic playmakers on defense despite being only a true freshman.

Round 1 – Derwin James, S, 6-3, 213 lbs., junior

Derwin James burst onto the scene as a freshman after displaying a knack for making big hits in the secondary and behind the line of scrimmage. He was one of the better safeties in college football as a true freshman and will definitely draw some Kam Chancellor comparisons by the time the 2018 draft rolls around.

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Derwin James hits hard. Just ask Jacoby Brissett.

Round 1 – George Campbell, WR, 6-4, 192 lbs., junior

Although he didn’t contribute as a true freshman, Campbell is arguably FSU’s most talented receiver. He has 4.3 speed, but could work on his catching and route running as well. This is obviously a projection that his development goes well, but NFL teams have a tendency to fall in love with fast, tall receivers who can stretch the field.

Round 2 – Jacques Patrick, RB, 6-2, 233 lbs., junior

Jacques Patrick had a breakout game versus Syracuse and showed what he could be as a full-time starter. Although he is a bigger back, he sometimes needs to build up momentum before he can run with power. Once he gets going, he is a tough player to bring down. A good comparison for Patrick? Current Cincinnati Bengal star Jeremy Hill.

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It’s easy to project great things from Jacques Patrick after making plays like this.

Round 2 – Tarvarus McFadden, CB, 6-2, 201 lbs., junior

Tarvarus McFadden is everything the NFL currently wants in their cornerbacks. He’s tall, long and has ball skills as well. He will compete for the boundary cornerback position this offseason and might work himself into the rotation at kick returner as well.

Round 3 – Demarcus Christmas, DT, 6-4, 290 lbs., redshirt junior

Demarcus Christmas is in good position to start along the defensive line in 2016. A former blue-chip recruit, Jimbo Fisher has been high on Christmas ever since he first stepped on campus. Much like Derrick Nnadi, Christmas could benefit from more pass rushing skills but his ceiling is as high as any defensive lineman that has come through FSU recently.

Round 4 – Ro’Derrick Hoskins, LB, 6-2, 245 lbs., redshirt senior

Hoskins worked himself into the linebacker rotation last season after injuries to Terrance Smith and Reggie Northrup. He was one of FSU’s more consistent defensive players and showed a good ability to diagnose plays from the linebacker position.

Round 4 – Trey Marshall, S, 6-0, 209 lbs., senior

Trey Marshall earned the starting job at the star position last season, but might move into a more traditional safety role in 2016. He struggled in coverage a bit, but is a strong tackler and should continue to develop throughout the next two years.

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Look for the coaching staff to use Trey Marshall in more creative ways throughout the rest of his career at FSU.

Round 5 – Jacob Pugh, LB, 6-4, 232 lbs., senior

Strictly an edge rusher at the moment, it will be an interesting storyline if the coaching staff keeps Pugh at the buck position or moves him back to traditional linebacker later in his career. Pugh showed good skills off of the edge but needs to work on his consistency if he wants to make it to the league as a pass rusher.

Round 7 – Wilson Bell, OG, 6-5, 313 lbs., redshirt senior

Apart from Rod Johnson, Wilson Bell was the only other offensive lineman to start all 13 games for the Seminoles last season. Bell needs to fight off some underclassmen for the right guard job this offseason, but showed flashes of good play throughout his sophomore campaign.

All videos courtesy of ESPN, the ACC Network and Seminoles.com.

Dakota Moyer

Florida State student and writer for NoleGameday.



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