Florida State Football: Ranking FSU's Best Defensive Players by NFL Potential

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Florida State Football: Ranking FSU's Best Defensive Players by NFL Potential
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
The Seminoles' defensive leadership will shine in 2012.

This may sound crazy, but I think this metaphor will help you understand the inherent strengths of this year’s Florida State defense.

Here’s the scenario:

The United States has suddenly divided into four factions, or “superconferences.” In a world where college football players are now the police for a world in pieces, the Southeastern Sector will try to protect itself. Florida State, although not an SEC team, will have seven players heading the defense force.

Yes, Florida State. Not Alabama. Not LSU. Not Georgia.

The thing is—in real life—Florida State football is underappreciated. Florida State’s defense finished in the Top 5 nationally, but it couldn’t make up for the offense’s inefficiency. Because the defense struggled in a weak ACC, some people scoff of the Tribe’s defense. FSU fans have high expectations for their team, so an inconsistent offense does not excuse defeats. Embarrassing losses to Wake Forest and Virginia shouldn’t happen, especially since the Seminoles have the top caliber of defenders. Phil Steele, for example, has 18 Seminoles on his All-ACC team (nine of them play defensive positions).

No matter what happens next season (although Phil Steele has the Seminoles ranked No. 1), the defensive backfield is loaded with talent. In our effort to analyze FSU’s best defensive members, we look at who is currently on the roster (talented incoming recruits have proved nothing—yet). If these guys can’t make it to the pros, nobody will.

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