Best and Worst Case Scenarios for FSU Prospects

Photo by Logan Stanford

For every NFL prospect, the draft is a night filled with excitement and anxiety. On perhaps the biggest night of their young lives, some prospects are left wondering as teams pass them by pick after pick. This can especially difficult for players that are sitting in the green room in Chicago as television cameras capture their every move. We’ve all seen the replays of the 2005 NFL Draft when Aaron Rodgers had to sweat out twenty-three picks before being picked by the Green Bay Packers.

Some prospects hit the jackpot during the draft process. Two years ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars surprised everyone when they took Blake Bortles with the third overall pick. This year, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are all but assured to be the first and second overall selections from the Rams and Eagles respectively. However, some prospects also hit the worst case scenario during the process. Last year saw Randy Gregory, at one point thought to be a Top-10 pick, fall to the second round because of drug issues. This year, Jaylon Smith might go undrafted due to the knee injury he suffered during the Fiesta Bowl.

This year, Florida State has four players who are expected to get drafted. Much like every draft prospect, each has a best and worst case scenario for their draft night. Players also need to go to systems that fit their strengths, or else their careers could be in jeopardy early on. The best example of this from a Florida State perspective is Bjoern Werner, who was a first round pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2013 draft but struggled to transition to an outside linebacker role and is now a free agent.

Could we see all four go by day two? Or will Florida State fans be left waiting until the end of the seventh round? Let’s take a look.

Jalen Ramsey, CB/S

Best Case Scenario: Ramsey is drafted by the Dallas Cowboys at No. 4.

With the top two picks all but locked up as quarterback selections, Ramsey is likely to be picked from third to fifth overall. The best case for Ramsey is if the Chargers pass him up for Laremy Tunsil or DeForest Buckner and the Dallas Cowboys take him with the fourth overall pick. Dallas is perhaps the best situation for Ramsey. They are in the process of rebuilding their secondary, as seen by first-round pick Byron Jones last year, and have established veterans. With Orlando Scandrick returning from injury, along with Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, Ramsey won’t be asked to be the team’s No. 1 cornerback right away. Other than Odell Beckham, the NFC East also does not have any major threats at quarterback or receiver that Ramsey will be tasked with going against right away. He could have the freedom to move between cornerback and safety during his rookie year before setting into a more traditional cornerback role as a sophomore. Plus, going up against Dez Bryant every day in practice will only make Ramsey a better player.

Worst Case Scenario: Ramsey falls to the Cleveland Browns at No. 8.

The worst case scenario for Ramsey would go something like this. The Chargers take Buckner, the Cowboys take Ezekiel Elliott, the Jaguars take Joey Bosa, the Ravens take Laremy Tunsil and the 49ers take Ronnie Stanley. It wouldn’t necessarily be in this order, but there could be a situation where Ramsey falls to the Browns at number eight. If so, the Browns would definitely take Ramsey. This is a bad situation for the former FSU defensive back. The Browns have zero playmakers on defense, especially in their secondary. Ramsey would be paired with Joe Haden at cornerback, but the former Florida Gator had a terrible 2015 season and Ramsey would likely be asked to be their No. 1 cornerback right away. The Browns offense is also expected to be among the worst in the NFL next season, which will put a lot more pressure on their defense. In a division with receivers Antonio Brown and A.J. Green and quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton, and Joe Flacco, Ramsey would be thrown into the fire right away with no time to transition.

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 29: Defensive back Jalen Ramsey #8 of the Florida State Seminoles during the game against the University of Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium on Bobby Bowden Field on November 29, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida. Third-ranked Florida State defeated University of Florida 24-19. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Jalen Ramsey would be a perfect fit in Dallas. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Roberto Aguayo, K

Best Case Scenario: Jameis Winston convinces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take Aguayo at No. 74.

With a need for a kicker in the draft, a selection by the Buccaneers in the third round is the best case for Aguayo. He is a Florida native and staying in the state would also allow him to stay in touch with the Florida State program, where his brother is currently playing. In an interview with NoleGameday, Aguayo stated that Jameis Winston is in the ear of the front office trying to get them to draft him. While taking a specialist on day two is not a common move, the Buccaneers could break this trend in order to land their kicker for the next dozen years.

Worst Case Scenario: Aguayo falls to the sixth or seventh round.

As a kicker, Aguayo’s draft stock can only rise so high. This is an especially difficult position to be in as a specialist, as certain teams will forego drafting a specialist because equally valuable players can be obtained as undrafted free agents after the draft concludes. The worst case scenario for Aguayo would be that teams pass him up for other, more talented players. The meat of this year’s draft is in the middle rounds and teams might be inclined to pass on a kicker for a starter or quality backup at a more valuable position. While Aguayo will certainly challenge for a starting job no matter where he lands, a fall in the draft could cost him millions of dollars.

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 22: Kicker Roberto Aguayo #19 of the Florida State Seminoles kicks the game winning field goal against the Boston College Eagles during the game at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 22, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Seminoles defeated the Eagles 20-17. (Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)

Could Roberto Aguayo be one of the only specialists in draft history to be taken on day two? (Photo by Jeff Gammons/Getty Images)

Nile Lawrence-Stample, DT

Best Case Scenario: There is a run on defensive tackles early, allowing Lawrence-Stample to be a day two pick.

The defensive tackle class might be the best position group in the draft, so the best case scenario for Nile Lawrence-Stample is that there is a run on the position at the end of the first round. For Lawrence-Stample, who is considered to be among that “second tier” of defensive tackles after the first group (which includes players like Andrew Billings, Jarran Reed, Vernon Butler and Sheldon Rankins), this would allow him to sneak into the back half of the third round as a day two pick. Some notable teams in that range with defensive tackle needs are Seattle (picks 90, 97), Detroit (95), and Denver (98).

Worst Case Scenario: The run on defensive tackles does not happen until day two, and NLS slips to day three.

On the other hand, the worst case scenario for Lawrence-Stample is if the rush to draft defensive tackles does not happen until the second or third rounds. As such, draft boards could push him down into the fourth or fifth rounds if there are better options available for teams. Injury concerns could also cause his stock to fall. He missed most of his junior year due to a torn pectoral muscle and did not participate at the Combine because of an achilles injury.


If the draft plays out right, Nile Lawrence-Stample might sneak his way into day two. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Terrance Smith, LB

Best Case Scenario: A team sees Terrance as the next Telvin Smith and takes a shot on him on day two.

The most favorable comparisons for Terrance Smith this draft season have been to former FSU teammate Telvin Smith. They are both lean-framed, fast linebackers who rely on instincts more so than power and bulk. As such, the best scenario for Terrance is if an NFL team sees him as the next coming of Telvin, who has been a star for the Jaguars through two years in the league. One great landing spot for Terrance would be Oakland at No. 75, a team that has a terrific pass rush which takes some pressure off of their linebackers and allows them to make plays in coverage and in the run game.

Worst Case Scenario: NFL teams are wary of his injury history and Terrance goes undrafted.

Despite being a valuable playmaker for Florida State over the past three years, Terrance Smith has also been plagued by injuries. He missed time during his senior year for turf toe and ankle sprains and has not been able to stay consistently healthy throughout his college career. That being said, NFL teams might pass on Smith for a player without injury concerns. For a player who is expected to be primarily a special teams contributor as a rookie, injuries could push him out of the draft completely.

during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Clemson, South Carolina.

Injury concerns could cause Terrance Smith’s stock to fall. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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