Spring Stock Report: Defensive Tackle

Now that spring drills are in the rearview mirror for Florida State and the annual Garnet and Gold Game has been played, it's time to analyze the Seminoles position by position. Today? Defensive tackle.

Projected Starters: Everett Dawkins, Anthony McCloud
Notable Backups: Timmy Jernigan, Demonte McAllister, Nile Lawrence-Stample, Jacobbi McDaniel, Moses McCray, Derrick Mitchell, Eddie Goldman, Justin Shanks, Dalvon Stuckey

The Skinny: With the exception of sophomore Cameron Erving, who was moved to the other side of the football and is currently the starter at left tackle, every member of the defensive tackle unit from a season ago returns -- plus Goldman, Shanks and Stuckey are five, four and three-star signees, respectively. Dawkins and McCloud are reliable seniors and both will play in the NFL come 2013, but the bona fide superstar in the making is Jernigan. The Lake City product got a scare during spring drills and sustained what turned out to be a relatively minor knee injury, which was quite a relief for Florida State since he was a freshman All-American this past year and seems like a future first-round draft pick.

Stock Up: A sizable portion of the depth chart missed at least some of the spring due to injury, including McCloud, Jernigan, McDaniel, Mitchell and the recently-transferred Darious Cummings, which opened up a chuck of playing time for both McAllister and Lawrence-Stample with the starting rotation. McAllister responded with five tackles for the Garnet team in the spring game, and Lawrence-Stample really stuck out with four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack for the Gold squad.

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Stock Flat: Neither Dawkins nor McCloud has the ability to be dominant like Jernigan does, and maybe even McAllister and Lawrence-Stample have more upside, but they are dependable veterans and Dawkins in particular is one of the true leaders of this 'Noles program. While pass rushers like Brandon Jenkins and Bjoern Werner make those flashy plays outside, it's the workmanlike effort of Dawkins and McCloud inside that is the basis of defensive coordinator Mark Stoops' entire scheme.

Stock Down: Rumored during the offseason as a candidate to switch to offensive tackle, Mitchell hasn't done anything in his FSU career yet to distinguish himself. Both he and Lawrence-Stample redshirted in 2011, but while Lawrence-Stample appears to have gotten light years better and could crack the rotation in 2012, Mitchell nursed a bum knee all spring and isn't expected to be a contributor any time soon.

Fall Wish List: A good-as-new knee ligament for Jernigan, continued improvement from McAllister and Lawrence-Stample and McCray, who has been a hard-luck case throughout his Garnet and Gold career, to finally stay healthy.

Spring Stock Reports: QB  |  RB  |  WR  |  TE  |  OL  |  DT  |  DE  |  LB  |  CB  |  S

John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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