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Florida State Football: Predictions & Analysis for NFL Draft Bound Players

Florida State's Timmy Jernigan celebrates with fans after the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game against Auburn Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. Florida State won 34-31. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press
Perry KostidakisContributor IJanuary 17, 2014

Last year, Florida State saw 11 of its players drafted, the most out of any team. Three Seminoles went in the first round. Overall, 14 players signed pro contracts, which caused many a person to wonder how exactly Florida State could have so much talent and not accomplish anything more than an Orange Bowl win. 

The situation is flipped in 2014. Fresh off a BCS National Championship win, FSU is losing 25 players total to graduation and early departures, and it isn't out of the question to imagine that the Seminoles can match their total of 11 drafted in 2013. 

Out of all the draft-eligible 'Noles, Timmy Jernigan should be drafted the highest, with the majority of mock drafts having the defensive tackle going in the first round. Some project Jernigan to go to the Bears, while others having him staying in Florida and heading to the Dolphins. 

Kelvin Benjamin is the player who should benefit the most from his 2014 campaign, where the freakishly huge wide receiver revitalized himself, becoming Jameis Winston's go-to receiver. Similar to how former Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was taken in the first round by Minnesota last year despite not being a "complete" player, the potential of Benjamin and the athletic ability he displayed throughout FSU's 2013 season should be enough to garner himself a first-round selection.

Ideal places for Benjamin would be Detroit, where he would benefit from playing alongside Calvin Johnson and a strong arm in Matthew Stafford, or Carolina, who is in desperate need of additional wide receiver threats. The Eagles could be another possible destination for the 6'6" receiver, as Chip Kelly sets out to assemble an offense that is capable of bringing about doom and destruction.

The third player who could hear his named called in the first round is Lamarcus Joyner, who chose to stay in school for his senior year despite getting mentioned as a potential first-rounder last year. The choice paid off, as Joyner now has a ring to go along with new highlights and proof that he's versatile. The defensive back proved successful at both cornerback and safety in his years at Florida State. Destinations for Joyner include Denver (who has had issues in the secondary), San Diego, Cincinnati or possibly even Carolina, should Benjamin go higher. 

Telvin Smith, Christian Jones, James Wilder Jr., Devonta Freeman, Kenny Shaw, Bryan Stork and Terrence Brooks should all hear their names called come May. Smith, Brooks and Jones were all key contributors to a stifling Seminole defense and that won't be overlooked. Wilder's pure athletic talent and bruising running style will have some coaches drooling, and Freeman is shifty enough that a pick will be spent on him. Stork was honored as the nation's best offensive lineman this season, and in the NFL, skilled offensive linemen are prized. Shaw, though undersized, is a consistent punt returner and plays tough, both of which are characteristics that are held in high regard at the pro level.

If the position of fullback hadn't essentially been phased out, Chad Abram would be among those names, but his chances are smaller. Jacobbi McDaniel is also a name to keep an eye on. 

By all means, Florida State should have the most players drafted by any school for the second consecutive year, a feat that the Seminoles became known for when they were the program to be in the '90s. 

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