Five Hypothetical Trades Florida State Could Make

Florida State is primed for a run at the national championship in 2017.

Per the latest Vegas odds, the Seminoles are currently tied with USC with the third best odds in the nation to win the title at 7-1, behind only Alabama at 3-1 and Ohio State at 4-1. The next closest team from the ACC is Clemson at 20-1, who just lost Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams and a whole host of contributors from last year’s squad.

But despite these favorable odds, Florida State still has several holes in its roster that need to be filled if they want to make a return trip to Atlanta for the title game. Linebacker remains a big question mark, as the Seminoles have not been able to count on former five-star recruit Matthew Thomas to be on the field on a consistent basis. Offensive line is also a major concern and Florida State will likely start several freshman along their line this season. Finally, backup quarterback behind Deondre Francois remains a concern as well.

College football teams are not allowed to trade players like teams in the NFL are allowed to do, but what if they were able to do so?

If trades were allowed in the NCAA, then Florida State would definitely be on the trade market to fill these holes in their squad before making a title run in the fall. Of course, Florida State would not want to trade with any team in the ACC or on it’s non-conference schedule. That means no trades with teams like Alabama, Florida, Clemson or Miami. The Seminoles would also have to be conscious about making trades for the immediate future and contending for a title in 2017, but also retaining depth so they can be successful in later years as well.

Let’s take a look at five hypothetical trades that Florida State might make if trades were allowed.

Disclaimer: In this purely hypothetical situation, it’s safe to assume Florida State would make one or two of these trades, but not all of them.

WR Keith Gavin for USC LB John Houston Jr.

Why it makes sense for USC: The USC Trojans are searching for a No. 1 wide receiver for Sam Darnold after the departure of Juju Smith-Schuster to the NFL. They have several talented players like Tyler Vaughns and Steven Mitchell, none have the size that Keith Gavin brings to the equation at 6-3, 225-pounds. The Trojans have recruited linebacker better than most teams in the country and could afford to part with a backup option like Houston.

Why it makes sense for Florida State: The Seminoles need a playmaker at linebacker. Matthew Thomas cannot be relied upon to stay on the field and Ro’Derrick Hoskins is limited athletically. Trading for a player like John Houston gives them a young and athletic option at inside linebacker. Florida State does not have great depth at wide receiver, but have two starters in Nyqwan Murray and Auden Tate and could afford to trade a player like Gavin if it meant an immediate upgrade at a position of need.

DE Joshua Kaindoh and CB Stanford Samuels for Texas LB Malik Jefferson

Why it makes sense for Texas: The expectations are not high for Tom Herman in his first year. Vegas currently has Texas’ win odds set at 7.5, meaning they expect the Longhorns to make a bowl game but not much more. With that being said, Herman needs to build for the future. Malik Jefferson is likely gone from Texas after this year anyways and the Longhorns would welcome two highly-talented players like Kaindoh and Samuels to bolster other levels of their defense.

Why it makes sense for Florida State: Similar to the situation above, the Seminoles are making this trade for the immediate future. Malik Jefferson would likely be a one-and-done player in Tallahassee, but could give the Seminoles an All-American level of play at the linebacker position. When combined with their excellent defensive line and lockdown secondary, that might push Florida State’s defense from elite to world-beater. Parting ways with two talented players like Kaindoh and Samuels will be difficult, but the Seminoles have recruited and will continue to recruit at an elite level and gain back talent at those positions.

RB Jacques Patrick for Stanford OT Casey Tucker

Why it makes sense for Stanford: While the Cardinals have RB Bryce Love returning, he cannot be expected to carry the load in Stanford’s run-heavy offense at 5-10, 190-pounds. With a player like Jacques Patrick (6-2, 230-pounds), Stanford could return to the ground-and-pound offense that they have become accustom to in recent years. Stanford loses a senior offensive lineman in this scenario, but have recruited offensive line very well and have a pair of five-star freshmen coming in to fill the position.

Why it makes sense for Florida State: The Seminoles’ biggest weakness might be along the offensive line. Senior Rick Leonard will likely start at right tackle, but left tackle is a major question mark. Casey Tucker has experience starting at left tackle and is likely a better option as a senior in 2017 than any freshman Florida State throws out there. The Seminoles just brought in the best running back class in the nation with a pair of five-stars and a four-star so they could afford to use Patrick in a trade in this scenario.

CB Carlos Becker for Kentucky QB Drew Barker

Why it makes sense for Kentucky: Despite coming in as a four-star recruit, Drew Barker has not lived up to expectations and was passed on the quarterback depth chart. However, he still has starting experience and provides good depth at the position. The Wildcats would be willing to trade him in exchange for a talented defensive back like Carlos Becker, who was recently named a track and field All-American.

Why it makes sense for Florida State: Backup quarterback is a major hole for the Seminoles. Junior J.J. Cosentino has made zero impact since arriving on campus and the freshmen pair of Bailey Hockman and James Blackman are not ready to provide meaningful snaps if Francois goes down. In Barker, the Seminoles get a backup quarterback that has starting experience and who could start if Francois has to miss a game or two. They lose Becker in this situation, but their cornerback depth is fantastic.

RB Khalan Laborn for Maryland OT Damian Prince

Why it makes sense for Maryland: Maryland loses a talented lineman in Damian Prince in this scenario, but gets a player in Khalan Laborn whom the offense can build around for the next three-four years. Similar to the Texas scenario above, DJ Durkin is building for the future and is not expected to win much right now.

Why it makes sense for Florida State: The Seminoles desperately need offensive tackle help and get a player in Damian Prince who has started 19 games during his career at right tackle. He could stick there or kick over to left tackle for Florida State. They lose five-star recruit Khalan Laborn, but retain talented recruits like Cam Akers and Zaquandre White at the running back position.

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