Florida State Football: 2014 NFL Draft Tracker, Analysis and Results
After their impressive run to the 2013 national championship, it is no surprise that the Florida State Seminoles are sending a strong crop of players to the 2014 NFL draft.
That class is laden with defensive stars and is headlined by defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. The class also includes a pair of talented defensive backs in Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks.
Perhaps the player with the biggest potential of them all is massive receiver Kelvin Benjamin.
We'll take a look at FSU's eight most likely draftees right here. Then check back on draft day to see where each of them end up and how they might develop on their new teams at the professional level.
WR Kelvin Benjamin
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 28 to Carolina
Weight: 240 pounds
Analysis: Kelvin Benjamin jumped up into the first round, and ironically, he'll now make a great jump ball receiver for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. After making a great run last season, the Panthers should receive another nice offensive boost from Benjamin. Carolina was in need of a weapon on the outside, and Benjamin has the physical makeup to start right away.
Replacement: Benjamin was Florida State's go-to guy last year, but the Seminoles will be just fine without him. Rashad Greene, Christian Green and Kermit Whitfield should lead this year's receiving corps. Additionally, FSU added two early-impact receivers in its 2014 recruiting class: 5-stars Ermon Lane and Travis Rudolph.
CB Lamarcus Joyner
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 41 to St. Louis
Weight: 184 pounds
Analysis: The Rams were looking for a safety and settled on their man in Lamarcus Joyner. It might have been a bit of a reach, considering there were still a few other safeties on the board and Joyner might have fallen to them later. However, despite his lack of size, Joyner's playmaking ability is tough to match. He should be able to play early in his career.
Replacement: Lamarcus Joyner’s presence as one of the defense’s leaders will be tough to replace. However, Florida State should be in good shape with key contributors Jalen Ramsey, Ronald Darby and P.J. Williams coming back. Additionally, the ‘Noles could see a resurgence of Tyler Hunter, who has been limited by injury thus far.
DT Timmy Jernigan
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 48 to Baltimore
Weight: 299 pounds
Analysis: Surprise, surprise: Baltimore drafted more defense. The Ravens added linebacker C.j> Mosely in Round 1 and picked up another elite defender in Timmy Jernigan. He won't be relied on to start right away and can take some time to learn from one of the best at the defensive tackle position: Haloti Ngata.
Replacement: The man to replace Timmy Jernigan is likely to be Nile Lawrence-Stample. The junior missed the FSU spring game with a shoulder injury, but he should be good to go for the regular season. The 6’1”, 319-pounder tallied 1.5 tackles for a loss and a pair of quarterback hurries while earning six starts last season.
S Terrence Brooks
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 79 to Baltimore
Weight: 198 pounds
Analysis: Baltimore passed on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round and that might prove to be an excellent decision. The Ravens were lucky to have Terrence Brooks slide back to them at the third round, and he'll add a dynamic presence to their defense. He'll need to shore up his tackling ability, but he has a shot at starting early in his career.
Replacement: Terrance Brooks was a major playmaker for the FSU defense, but the ‘Noles will still have one of college football’s most talented secondaries thanks to a pair of elite athletes: Jalen Ramsey and Ronald Darby. They’ll team up to replace Brooks and Lamarcus Joyner as the unit’s leaders, along with P.J. Williams. Finally, keep an eye on Tyler Hunter and early enrollee Trey Marshall.
RB Devonta Freeman
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 103 to Atlanta
Weight: 206 pounds
Analysis: The Atlanta Falcons made a great pick, grabbing Devonta Freeman off the board early in Round 4. He'll contribute immediately in the Falcons backfield. Atlanta already uses a rotation of backs, and Freeman has the talent to figure into the mix right away.
Replacement: Florida State is losing James Wilder Jr. along with Freeman, but the ‘Noles will be just fine at the position. Karlos Williams is returning to lead the group, along with sophomore speedster Ryan Green. They’ll be joined by Mario Pender and early enrollee Dalvin Cook—the No. 2 RB in the 247Sports composite rankings.
C Bryan Stork
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 105 to New England
Weight: 315 pounds
Analysis: Bryan Stork came off the board earlier than expected, but the pick makes sense for New England. Stork is a technically sound center, and with some development, he could be come a consistent starter. Theoretically, he'll eventually be snapping the ball to the Patriots' QB of the future, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Replacement: While FSU could lose some continuity with Stork’s departure, the ‘Noles will slide in another center with starting experience: Austin Barron. Barron was No. 2 on the depth chart last season and has already filled in for Stork on previous occasions.
LB Telvin Smith
Drafted: Round 5, Pick 144 to Jacksonville
Weight: 218 pounds
Analysis: Telvin Smith fell back a bit further than expected making this a fantastic pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith has great athleticism and was a true playmaker for FSU. He's undersized at 218 pounds, but he has Pro Bowl potential if he can add some size.
Replacement: Without Smith and Christian Jones, Florida State might lack some of the flash its linebacking corps had last year. However, the ‘Noles will bring back several key contributors from last season: Terrance Smith, Reggie Northrup, E.J. Levenberry and Ukeme Eligwe. Also keep an eye on Matthew Thomas, a promising freshman who had his season cut short by injury.
LB Christian Jones
Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 3, Pick 77 to San Francisco
Weight: 240 pounds
Stat Line: 56 TAK, 8 TFL, 2 SACK, 1 INT, 6 QBH
With ideal NFL linebacker size, it's no wonder why Christian Jones is likely to be off the board early. The FSU star can fill several different roles. Without otherworldly athleticism or cognitive skills, he isn't a candidate to become a star linebacker at the next level. However, he's a low-risk pick and should be productive from the get-go in the right role.
Florida State's Christian Jones is a lot of things. He's an pass rusher, he's an edge defender that drops back in coverage, he's a standup Will outside linebacker. However, with that versatility comes a certain ceiling on his potential. Jones is a good athlete, but not a great one.
It's with this in mind that Jones is kind of like a Swiss Army knife or camera phone. Yes, they're great devices and they sound great in theory. But in the end, you're still stuck with a mediocre knife and a camera that doesn't take great pictures. On the other hand, a prospect like Jones adds a great level of versatility to a defense through a solid combination of athleticism and talent that translates directly into the roles he plays in a defense.