Where will FSU players go in the draft?

Photo by Logan Stanford

The 2017 NFL Draft is today, meaning that a whole bunch of players are about to realize their dreams have come true. From Myles Garrett to Mitch Trubisky, this is certainly one of the weirdest drafts in recent memory. After Garrett at No. 1, no one really knows what’s going to happen after that. Expect craziness and a whole bunch of mock drafts going up in flames.

As for Florida State, this will likely be another year where very few Seminoles hear their names called in the draft. Apart from a certain special running back, don’t expect to see Florida State get called much on the first two days of the draft. Day three is the expected range where we could see a few players get called.

Let’s break down who will get drafted and where we can expect to hear their names called.

Dalvin Cook, running back

Cook’s draft stock has been all over the place throughout the pre-draft process. Originally billed as a Top-10 pick, his stock has somewhat fallen over poor testing at the Combine and rumors of off-the-field red flags. Still, he is a consensus first round pick per many analysts and should still hear his name called on Thursday.

The earlier we could see Cook going is No. 8 overall to the Carolina Panthers, who are in need of a workhorse running back to team up with Cam Newton. The Eagles at No. 14 have also been heavily linked to Cook in the past few days and the Buccaneers at No. 19 remain a consistent mocked spot for Cook to team him up with Jameis Winston.

However, Cook could fall further if he gets past those three teams. As is the nature of the running back position, it wouldn’t be a total surprise to see him fall out of the first round entirely. If he does, then expect to hear his name called early on day two.

Expected draft range: No. 8 overall to early second round

DeMarcus Walker, defensive end

Walker is likely the second Florida State player to hear his name called in the draft. Although Walker is listed as a defensive end, some teams see him as a three-technique, interior-type of player rather than a true edge rusher. This will push him down the board for some teams who would rather have a prototypical “explosive” edge rusher rather than a hybrid-type.

He won’t hear his name called on day one, but keep an eye out on day two for Walker especially in the third round. A team like New England or Atlanta could certainly use Walker’s versatility along their defensive lines. If he falls out of day two, then expect him to go early on day three.

Expected draft range: Third round to early fourth round

Roderick Johnson, offensive tackle

Perhaps an unexpected early entrant to the draft, Johnson will hear his name called but perhaps a bit later than we would have expected six months ago. He has great measurables for the position, but his tape leaves much to be desired. But because the offensive tackle class as a whole is so poor, Johnson will likely get pushed up and over-drafted by a tackle-needy team.

Like Walker, the most logical landing spot for Johnson is sometime on day two or three, be that at the end of the third round or in the fourth round. Of course, he could also slip down due to more talented players being on the board.

Expected draft range: Late third round to fifth round

Marquez White, cornerback

This year’s cornerback class is deep, meaning that teams will be finding potential starters as late as the third round. White is a good prospect in his own right, but his senior tape was not as good as his junior’s and teams will take notice of that. He is still a draftable player, but his range is all over the place depending on how the run on cornerback goes. Expect to hear his name called sometime on day three.

Expected draft range: Fourth round to seventh round

Travis Rudolph, wide receiver

A surprise early entrant to the draft, Rudolph does not possess measurables you typically see from early entrants to the draft nor did he test particularly well at the Combine. He led Florida State in receiving over the past two years, but is likely a third or fourth wide receiver on an NFL depth chart. As such, his stock is lower compared to those late-round receiver who can run a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash or measure in at over 6’1″.

Expected draft range: Fifth round to undrafted

Kermit Whitfield, wide receiver

Whitfield was billed to potentially break Chris Johnson’s Combine record, but ran in the 4.40-range. That’s not a disappointing time, but guys who can run fast are a dime a dozen in the NFL. Hurting Whitfield more is his small size, which will limit him strictly to a slot or returner role in the league. How willing is an NFL team to spend a pick on a player like that?

Expected draft range: Sixth round to undrafted

Bobo Wilson, wide receiver

Wilson was better than most fans thought as a senior, but an injury sidelined him from putting up more good tape. His small size will also push him down draft boards as well. Like Whitfield, he is limited to certain roles in the league and there are teams who will simply not spend a pick on a receiver who doesn’t fit certain measurables.

Expected draft range: Sixth round to undrafted

Freddie Stevenson, fullback

Stevenson got better as a fullback in his four years at the position, but teams will rarely spend a pick on a fullback in the draft. They’d much rather opt to recruit on in free agency if they need one. It’s a long shot, but if a fullback gets called in the late rounds, it’ll probably be Stevenson.

Expected draft range: Seventh round to undrafted

Other seniors: Sean Maguire, quarterback (undrafted), Kareem Are, offensive guard (undrafted)

Dakota Moyer
Florida State student and writer for NoleGameday.

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