Spring Stock Report: Defensive End

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 end.

Projected Starters: Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner
Notable Backups: Cornellius Carradine, Giorgio Newberry, Mario Edwards, Chris Casher

The Skinny: The triumvirate of Jenkins, Werner and Carradine has a chance to be the premier pass-rushing force in the country this coming season, not to mention the fact that all three of these future pros do a lot more than simply rush the passer, as each of them is tough against the run, too. Jenkins admitted to almost being out the door and on to the NFL Draft but had a last-minute change of heart and returned to Florida State, where he hopes to elevate himself into a first-round pick. But Dan Hicks switching from defensive end to tight end means there is a dearth of depth behind Jenkins, Werner -- remember he missed all of spring practice nursing a shoulder injury -- and Carradine, so that might result in Edwards and Casher having an opportunity to see the field as true freshmen.

Stock Up: Carradine won't start for the Seminoles but probably could at 100-plus FBS programs, as the former junior-college trasnfer got a ton of first-team reps this spring in Werner's stead and by all accounts was fantastic. In the annual Garnet and Gold Game, the 6-5, 264-pound beast recorded a team-high seven tackles for the Garnet squad with two sacks, destroying Gold right tackle Bobby Hart in the process.

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Stock Flat: It's unfair to put Jenkins in the "flat" category, as coach Jimbo Fisher raved about the senior's work ethic and rewarded him with Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Spring honors, although Werner's absence and Edwards and Casher not enrolling yet led to slim pickings from the defensive end position. FSU fans shouldn't be the least bit surprised that Jenkins reached for sixth gear instead of putting it on cruise control, but that's what he needs to do if he wants to prove to talent evaluators he's not just a 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 nickel pass rusher at the next level.

Stock Down: Beefing up to 278 pounds on his impressive 6-6 frame, Newberry did the necessary work in the weight room during his redshirt campaign, plus there were unconfirmed reports he played rather well in the two scrimmages that were closed to the media. However, once reporters actually saw him in action, while he did register three tackles for the Garnet team in the spring game, he appeared to be contained down in and down out by Gold left tackle Daniel Glauser.

Fall Wish List: More of the same from Jenkins, a healthy recovery for Werner and a breakout performance by Carradine.

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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