Today the Florida State Seminoles will take on Norte Dame in the teams of Yesteryear Champs Sports Bowl. I kid, I kid. These two teams are loaded with N.F.L talent including a few first round picks in the mix. Let’s break it down.
Here are most of the players to watch in this game from a draft perspective. Let’s start with Florida State
OT Zebrie Sanders
The former “C’mon Man”
Has really had a good season playing LT for the injured Andrew Datkio and has seen his draft stock really rise as a potential LT in the N.F.L.
Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback
I’m not sure who Rhodes will be matced up on, but he’s the best Seminoles cornerback. Rhodes looks like a safety, hits like a safety, but has the athletic ability of a cornerback. He’s really a good player. Now he hasn’t had quite the breakout season he was hoping for and could really use a huge game. Rhodes was a player some draftniks thought could have put himself into the top 15 as a redshirt sophomore this year, which hasn’t happened. Maybe a huge game though will get his stock up again and he’ll enter the draft.
Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB FSU
If you’re read about Jenkins this year, it’s probably about how his production is down. But that is misleading. Jenkins has been used in a hybrid role this year. Jenkins problem could be what position does he play in the N.F.L.? He’s a bit of a tweener. If you’re a fan of a 34 team you’re going to want to watch his hips and coverage abilities. 43 teams will have to decide if he has the size and strength to play 43 Defensive end. He’s a really good player though and there’s a spot for him somewhere in the N.F.L.. Though his first round grade seems to be gone from drafniks a big game could change that.
E.J. Manuel, Quarterback
Manuel will likely return next year because he hasn’t had a great season. He hasnt’ made the best decisions all year, but he has a lot of ability. He could really use a big game if he wants to declare or to build on for next season.
Bert Reed, WR, Florida State
An undersized wide receiver with big play potential because of his speed. Late round UDFA kind of guy.
Greg Reid, CB (Scouting report)
Reid is an undersized playmaker. His role at the N.F.L. level might be strictly as a return man, but I think he has enough ability to play as a nickel coverage guy. Reid is only 5’8. He’s dynamite with the ball in his hands though.
Nigel Bradham, LB
Bradham is the guy whose stock might most be dependent on a big game. Bradham has all the physical ability you could ask for, but he needs to show better awarness and consistency.
Is returning for the 2012 College Football season. I love Te’o and he reminds people of Jerod Mayo. Just a good player.
Michael Floyd, WR
Floyd is the best player on either team as far as the 2012 N.F.L. draft is concerned. Floyd does a fantastic job of challenging for the football in the air. Floyd is open when he’s not open, and has all the ablitity in the world to be a number one wide receiver. You probably won’t learn much from watching Floyd play today because you already know how good he is.
Darius Fleming, LB, This is a guy I haven’t studied close enough yet and I’m going to do my due diligence today. What I have seen from him is that he has good size and has ability as a pass rusher. He has 3.5 sacks and 7 TFL this season. Fleming is 6’2 255 pounds. I’ll be watching Fleming’s coverage ability and sideline to sideline speed.
Harrison Smith, S
Smith is a player who makes a ton of plays has great size and is a pretty good athlete. Does he have the kind of athetlic ability to stay on the field all the time at the N.F.L. level and not be exposed? Today will be a good test for Smith because the Seminoles have a lot of good athletes on offense. If Smith has a great game he could go even higher than the 4th round, which is where his ceiling is if the draft were held today.
Cierre Wood, Running back
I love what I have seen from Wood when I’ve watched him play. The Junior has a good build, can catch the ball out of the backfield and is just a good runner. I think he could really see his stock explode next season with another productive year. A big game against Florida State’s talented front seven would certainley help.
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