NoleGameday

Media Day Depth Chart Analysis

Photo by Logan Stanford

Like every year, Florida State released a post-spring practice depth chart at the annual ACC Media Days in Charlotte. While this team is returning the majority of its starters from last season, it still has to replace some key contributors like Jalen Ramsey, Lamarcus Brutus, and Terrance Smith. The depth chart did not reveal too much about Florida State’s plans heading into 2016, but it did show some interesting tidbits if we look closely.

Quarterback

1. Sean Maguire

2. Deondre Francois

3. J.J. Cosentino

4. Malik Henry

Don’t read too much into Sean Maguire listed as the No. 1 for now. This is purely because of seniority at the moment. The quarterback competition will continue into fall practice. An interesting note here is that Deondre Francois has officially passed J.J. Cosentino on the depth chart. Expect Malik Henry to do the same. Remember, Cosentino only threw a handful of passes in the spring game while Henry threw nearly 30 passes.

Tailback

1. Dalvin Cook

2. Jacques Patrick

3. Ryan Green

4. Jonathan Vickers

Nothing to see here. Florida State returns perhaps the best player in college football in Dalvin Cook next year. Look for Ryan Green to push Jacques Patrick for the No. 2 role. Green looked really good at running back in the spring game despite not playing the position for a year.

Wide Receivers

1. Travis Rudolph, Kermit Whitfield, Jesus Wilson

2. Ja’Vonn Harrison, Nyqwan Murray, Ermon Lane

3. Auden Tate, Da’Vante Phillips, George Campbell

It should not come as a surprise that Rudolph, Whitfield and Wilson are listed as the starters. After all, the trio started nearly every single game last season and were the leading receivers on the roster. The spring game showed us that Auden Tate and George Campbell are ready to compete for major playing time as well. Keep an eye on Nyqwan Murray. The speedy receiver got some playing time at the end of last season and could see some time in the slot this season.

Tight End

1. Ryan Izzo

2. Mavin Saunders

3. Jeremy Kerr

4. Jalen Wilkerson

First and foremost, it looks like Chris Casher is no longer on the team. He was not listed in the official roster that Florida State released and is not listed here on the depth chart. Ryan Izzo should continue to improve and could have a breakout year if the passing game improves. The No. 2 tight end role will continue to be flexible. Saunders is primarily a pass catching option while Kerr is strictly a run blocker (aside from his amazing catch versus Florida). Wilkerson was rumored to be moving to defensive end, but it looks as if he will see snaps at tight end this year.

Left Tackle

1. Roderick Johnson

2. Ethan Frith

3. Abdul Bello

No surprise here. Johnson is one of the best left tackles in the country. If Bello can continue to come back from injury (he did not play in the spring game), he could push Frith for the backup job at the position.

Left Guard

1. Kareem Are

2. David Robbins

Kareem Are struggled at times last year, but his starting job seems to be safe. David Robbins had some nice moments in the spring game, but is only a redshirt freshman so there is no rush to get him immediate playing time.

Center

1. Alec Eberle

2. Ryan Hoefeld

3. Corey Martinez

It wasn’t until halfway through last season when Alec Eberle took over that the center position finally had some stability. Hoefeld and Martinez each started at times last year, but neither looked great. Eberle will be the starter moving forward, but true freshman Baveon Johnson could also get some looks at the position if he struggles.

Right Guard

1. Wilson Bell

2. Cole Minshew

Wilson Bell was one of the only players to start every game last year along the offensive line (the other being Rod Johnson). His play left much to be desired, but another offseason in the system should do him some good. Minshew was expected to play as a true freshman, but concussions forced him to redshirt. Minshew can definitely push for playing time in fall camp if Bell does not improve.

Right Tackle

1. Brock Ruble

2. Rick Leonard

3. Derrick Kelly

Right tackle was a revolving door last year as three players each started games at the position. Brock Ruble started and ended the year as the starter, but Derrick Kelly and Chad Mavety each started as well. None of them were overly impressive. As such, Rick Leonard moved over from defensive end and looked pretty good in the spring game. The competition for this position will continue in fall camp, but look for one of Kelly or Leonard to win the job in the end. Also, it looks as if Chad Mavety will not play this year. He is not listed on the depth chart and is dealing with cardiac issues.

Defensive End

1. DeMarcus Walker

2. Adam Torres

3. Keith Bryant

DeMarcus Walker is the unquestioned leader of the defense after leading the team in sacks last year and taking a major step forward as a player. He should be one of the better defensive ends in college football last year and will look to break double-digit sacks again. However, the depth behind him is questionable. Adam Torres was recruited to FSU as a defensive tackle, but moved to end in spring practice. He had some good moments in the spring game, but was not overly impressive. Meanwhile, Bryant moved to end after spending his whole career at tackle. According to Jimbo Fisher, Bryant was having an impressive spring practice until an injury sidelined him.

Defensive Tackle

1. Demarcus Christmas

2. Wally Aime

3. Darvin Taylor

Demarcus Christmas moves into the starting role this year after playing major snaps as a backup last year. He flashed at times and looked great in the spring game. Wally Aime is an early enrollee from a junior college and looks ready to play immediately. He will be the primary backup to Christmas and may also kick outside to play end with Walker as well. Taylor redshirted last year and will see snaps as the third option here.

Nose Tackle

1. Derrick Nnadi

2. Fred Jones

3. Arthur Williams

4. Justin Shanks

Derrick Nnadi is primed for a breakout year. He proved last year that he is an NFL-ready player and will look to improve his draft stock as the season progresses. Meanwhile, Fred Jones continues to impress. After many wrote him off after coming into FSU as a two-star recruit, Jones has drastically improved and showed in the spring game that he is ready to take a step forward in his development. Williams and Shanks will be rotational players along the line as well.

BUCK

1. Josh Sweat

2. Jacob Pugh

The BUCK position doesn’t see a change from last year. Josh Sweat was one of the most impressive true freshman in college football last season and will continue to improve as he continues to heal from his knee injury. According to the official roster, he is also adding good weight. Jacob Pugh will back up Sweat, but might also see snaps at true linebacker this season as well.

SAM

1. Ro’Derrick Hoskins

2. Delvin Purifoy

After playing and starting sporadically last year, Ro’Derrick Hoskins is unquestionably the most experienced linebacker on the roster. Delvin Purifoy is still recovering from an injury he suffered as a true freshman, which means that Sh’Mar Kilby-Lane and true freshman Dontavius Jackson will be called upon to play snaps as well.

WLB

1. Matthew Thomas

2. Josh Brown

He returns! After three years of suspensions, injuries and general mystery, Matthew Thomas is slated to start this season. The former five-star prospect might be the most athletically gifted linebacker on the roster and will look to prove doubters wrong this year. Josh Brown posted an impressive spring practice after enrolling early and will definitely play major snaps this year.

Boundary Cornerback

1. Tarvarus McFadden OR Marcus Lewis

The competition to replace Jalen Ramsey continues. Both McFadden and Lewis were impressive in the spring game and both look capable of stepping in at the position. No matter who wins this job, both players will be major contributors to the defense this year.

Field Cornerback

1. Marquez White

2. Malique Jackson

Marquez White returned for his senior season to improve his NFL Draft stock. After posting an impressive junior year, he will be one of the better cornerbacks in college football next year. Malique Jackson will back him up at the position for right now, but look for true freshman Carlos Becker and Kyle Meyers to push him in fall practice.

STAR

1. Trey Marshall

2. A.J. Westbrook

This should come as a surprise to no one, seeing how Marshall started at STAR at the beginning of last year before an injury sidelined him. Westbrook might be listed as the backup for now, but true freshman superstar Levonta Taylor is primed to start somewhere in this secondary sooner rather than later.

Free Safety

1. Derwin James

2. A.J. Westbrook

Derwin James is listed as a free safety here, but he will play strong safety when Florida State lines up on defense to play Ole Miss. No matter where he plays, James is perhaps the best overall defensive player in college football season and will look to improve from his impressive true freshman debut. Westbrook will compete with several other players for the backup role here.

Strong Safety

1. Nate Andrews

2. Calvin Brewton

While the coverage abilities of Andrews have been long debated amongst the Florida State community, there is no denying he has a role somewhere. He is listed as a starter here, but there are several other players who could push him for the position if given the opportunity. Much like Westbrook, Brewton will be a backup this season.

Kicker

1. Ricky Aguayo

The Aguayo tradition continues. Ricky will look to follow in the footsteps as his older brother as he takes over as FSU’s kicker.

Punter

1. Logan Tyler OR Jack Steed

True freshman Logan Tyler will compete with Oklahoma transfer Jack Steed for the punting job in fall camp.

Dakota Moyer

Florida State student and writer for NoleGameday.



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