2012 NFL Draft: 5 Florida State Seminoles Ready to Take League by Storm
The Florida State Seminoles have a few seniors who are eligible and entering the NFL draft. While they will not possess the talent to go in the first round like Christian Ponder last season, there are some players who will go relatively high in the draft.
With a defense that is returning to its dominant days and an offensive that has shown flashes of brilliance, it is no wonder that Florida State produces quality players for the NFL each season.
Here is a look at five players who are ready to move up to the NFL and dominate.
Shawn Powell, Punter
Florida State Punter Shawn Powell
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Punter Shawn Powell comes out of his senior season with the Seminoles as the highest rated punter in the NCAA.
While he only punted the ball 57 times last season, Powell was first overall with an average of 47.04 yards per punt last season and first in net-punting with an average of 42.0. He is also Florida State's school record holder for career punting average at 44.01.
Powell was also a near consensus first-team All-ACC selection, receiving 85 of the 90 votes. Powell was named an All-American from the Walter Camp Football Foundation this season, as well.
Unfortunately, punters usually do not get drafted very high in the NFL draft, if at all. If Powell is selected, he will likely be picked in the sixth or seventh round. It is more likely that he will sign as an undrafted free agent, however.
Mike Harris, Defensive Back
Florida State Defensive Back Mike Harris
Florida State had one hell of an athlete who has experience playing multiple positions on defense in Mike Harris.
Harris has experience playing safety, however he found a niche at cornerback for most of his two seasons at Florida State. While he is not expected to be drafted very high, he could be quite a success in the NFL. He is known for his tackling ability, especially given his size, and for making seemingly impossible plays look routine, such as this.
Not to mention, he is freakishly fast. He was clocked at a 4.3 this past season. He covers the field well. This was noticeable during many of the games this season, but especially during the game against Oklahoma.
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If Mike Harris does not get drafted (which he certainly should), look for him to sign as an undrafted free agent and make a squad for some team.
Nigel Bradham, Linebacker
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One of the most feared linebackers in the ACC, Bradham can do it all. He can tackle for loss, is great at zone coverage and man-to-man.
Bradham is expected to be selected off the board between the second and third rounds of this year's draft. He can make devastating hits, like this one from this year that got him ejected unjustly.
If a team is looking for a shutdown linebacker to come off the bench and potentially blossom into an NFL starter, they should look no further than Nigel Bradham.
Andrew Datko, Offensive Tackle
Florida State Offensive Tackle Andrew Datko
At 6'6" and 321 pounds, Andrew Datko is a mammoth of an offensive tackle. He has the athleticism and strength that can provide a high ceiling in the NFL.
Unfortunately, a history of injuries has hurt his draft stock a little bit. He would normally be a late first-round to early second-round draft pick, however the injury to his shoulder kept him from reaching that reality.
In 2010, Datko allowed only one sack on his quarterback in the 11 games he started. He is also an excellent run blocker who could help shore up the offensive line for any team, and protect the quarterback's blind spot.
He is likely going to be a second- or third-round draft pick.
Zebrie Sanders, Offensive Tackle
Offensive Tackle Zebrie Sanders
The player who is likely going to be drafted the highest from Florida State is Zebrie Sanders.
Sanders will provide excellent pass protection and run blocking for whichever team he is drafted to. He is also versatile. He is normally on the right side of the line, however he is able to play left tackle if needed. At 6'6", 307 pounds, Sanders is a force to be reckoned with in the trenches.
Current projections have him going in the second round, however he could be a surprise late first-rounder, or even slip to the third round.