The Florida State Seminoles had four players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft and, against long odds, two of those players were selected by the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo Bills are a team on the rise. They opened last season 4-1, but then fell apart.
They would go on to finish the season 6-10. The free fall could be somewhat attributed to the injury of their starting running back, Fred Jackson.
With the return of Jackson and an improved defense, though, there is still reason for optimism in Buffalo.
The team signed one of the best defensive ends in the league this offseason when they inked Mario Williams to a mega-deal.
Nigel Bradham, who led the Seminoles in tackling in each of the previous three seasons, was taken in the fourth round.
The explosive and durable linebacker was the first Seminole to come off the board this year.
In college, Bradham played both inside and outside at linebacker. This versatility was one of the reasons he was selected by the Bills.
In the NFL, Bradham expects to play at one of the two outside linebacker positions. He has the size and athleticism to play at either outside linebacker spot and will instantly add depth to the Bills defense.
Bradham has the potential to be an NFL starter. In order to do so, though, he will need to become more instinctual in diagnosing plays at the line.
Also, due to his athleticism, Bradham is expected to be a contributor on special teams.
If Bradham pans out, the Bills would have gotten an absolute steal in the fourth round.
Zebrie Sanders was taken by the Bills in the fifth round.
Sanders played both tackle positions during his time in Tallahassee, although he projects to be a right tackle in the NFL.
In Sanders, the Bills are getting a player who started 50 games in college. This experience should help Sanders compete for a starting tackle spot early on in his career.
After the season, Sanders was given a first- or second-round grade by some of the experts.
Sanders did himself no favors at the Senior Bowl, however. Scouts felt that he showed little core strength and was too often dominated by defensive linemen.
If Sanders is able to get a little stronger, he would become a far better run-blocker. More strength would also allow Sanders to hold his ground in pass protection.
He already has the size and arm length to be a good tackle at the NFL level. Now he just needs the power to handle NFL defensive linemen.
Another Seminole, 2012 Consensus All-American punter Shawn Powell chose to sign with the Bills after the draft.
Powell led the nation in both overall punting and net punting in 2011—he was the first punter to do this since 2005.
Even though he is a punter, Powell has the ability to change games at the next level. He is excellent at pinning opponents deep in their own territory and, as everyone knows, field position goes a long way in deciding football games.
The Bills already have a solid punter in Brad Moorman, who ranked fifth in punting average last season.
NFL teams normally don't have two active punters on their roster, so it will be interesting if Powell is able to claim a roster spot.
FSU will be represented at the Bills' training camp this year. Now the only question is how Bradham, Sanders and Powell will fare in the NFL.
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