The Florida State Seminoles lost 11 players to the NFL Draft from last year’s team including three first-round picks, but they still rank among the top programs in the country and are expected to challenge for a national title. The defense is expected to lead the Seminoles again with several top returning talents that could very well go in this coming year’s NFL Draft, with three notable prospects in particular to keep an eye on.
2013 BCS Championship Odds: +2,200
Notable Prospect #1: LB Christian Jones – Senior
Jones is the best of a strong cast of Florida State linebackers, and is expected to lead the way after returning for his senior year. Jones led the Seminoles in tackles a year ago with 95, but what was most impressive was his ability to move in space with receivers and make plays in pass coverage. A big, strong athlete that also has great speed and coordination, Jones will play an integral role on the weak side for Florida State again in 2013. There aren’t many players at the college level capable of doing everything that Jones can do, and another strong season could be enough to upgrade his stock to the level of a first-round pick in 2014.
Notable Prospect #2: CB Lamarcus Joyner – Senior
Perhaps the most intriguing prospect of this group, Joyner has been moved to cornerback after playing safety all of last season. The Seminoles love his ability to move stride for stride with opposing receivers downfield, and likely feel that his skill set will be better utilized matching up against the No. 1 on most teams. The one knock on Joyner is his lack of overall size at 5’8’’, but he hits like a truck and is very capable of separating players from the ball. Joyner’s speed and ball skills will make him an elite prospect if he can make the transition to cornerback, and the versatility to play both spots cannot be overlooked.
Notable Prospect #3: RB – James Wilder – Junior
Wilder has all of the tools to be a top NFL Draft prospect if he can build on last year’s numbers, as he went off for 635 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago and has the potential to put up even more impressive stats with more touches. Wilder has good size, outstanding speed, and his ability to cut on a dime is incredibly impressive. That quick-twitch ability is what stands out the most about Wilder, who should get even more looks in the passing game. The one thing working against him is the value placed on backs in the draft, but it’s impossible to deny that the talent is there. Wilder is the complete package at running back, and if he can build on last year’s numbers he should end up being a high pick in the 2014 NFL Draft regardless of whether he can crack the top two rounds or not.
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