Post-Spring Depth Chart (Offense)

The Florida State offense will be young, but there's no question about the talent on the roster.

Florida State is getting set to start spring practice and, unlike last year, there is plenty of intrigue at quite a few positions. The Seminoles will likely have at least 10, if not 12, players drafted in the upcoming NFL Draft. That means that not only is Florida State losing a lot of depth, they are losing quality starters as well. Here is a look at how we believe those holes were filled at the end of spring practice.

Quarterback

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

Wayne

Sean Maguire

J.J. Cosentino

DeAndre Johnson

Jason

Sean Maguire

Cosentino/DeAndre Johnson

Wayne: It wasn’t pretty, but the quarterback job is Maguires to lose at this point. No other quarterback ran with the first team offense all spring. A lot of fans are calling for Johnson to start at this point, but they need to remember that he was playing against walk ons in the spring game. Some of the throws that he made were impressive, but Jimbo was not happy with his decision making and benched him after a throw. Johnson didn’t take it very well and threw his helmet at the bench. He did come back later and lead a touchdown drive, but he really doesn’t have a firm grasp of the playbook at this point. Cosentino continued with his ups and his downs and, unfortunately, hasn’t made the gains he needed to make.

Jason: Ugly. It’s difficult to find another word to describe the current quarterback situation, at least in comparison to what FSU fans have grown used to over the past six years. Maguire remains ahead on the depth chart, but this competition remains open going into the fall as no quarterback has really stepped up and seized the job. Cosentino showed a few flashes here and there but did not make the hoped-for strides in the spring; he also does not appear to have the outstanding anticipation called for by Jimbo Fisher’s offense. Johnson caught fire in the last two weeks of spring practice and impressed (against backups) in the spring game, coming back after the aforementioned helmet-throwing incident to lead the offense to a score. But will Fisher really start a 6’ true freshman? Then there’s the arrival of Deondre Francois in the fall to account for. There are more questions than answers here.

Running Back

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

4th Team

Wayne

Dalvin Cook

Jacques Patrick

Mario Pender

Jonathan Vickers

Jason

Dalvin Cook

Mario Pender

Jacques Patrick

Jonathan Vickers

Wayne: This one is not up for grabs especially after Cook posted the best freshman season in nearly two decades by a Seminole running back. The position that i do believe is up for grabs is the 2nd back. Mario Pender and Jacques Patrick were both exceptional this spring and both will get extensive playing time come the fall. Patrick will end the season with more touchdowns than Pender, however.

Jason: Cook has established his spot and was in a blue jersey for much of the spring, but FSU will always split carries, so the next two spots are critically important. Pender has comparable talent to Cook and is the next in line as long as he stays healthy; he looked outstanding in the spring game, though he still needs to press the line of scrimmage a little better at times. Patrick made a statement in the spring game and looks like the big back FSU has coveted.

Very few freshmen arrive ready to go from day one, but Patrick is one of those guys, a great sign for an offense that will need to rely on the running game more than in years past. He’ll be the goal line back this year and would be the man in a touchdown league. The staff is higher on Vickers than most fans, and he showed versatility and power in the spring game, so FSU should have reasonable depth here.

Fullback

1st Team

2nd Team

Wayne

Freddie Stevenson

Jonathan Vickers

Jason

Freddie Stevenson

Jonathan Vickers

Stevenson will continue in this role, though with the tight ends and WR positions stocked as they are, the fullback may be on the field a bit less in 2015.

Wide Receiver

It’s difficult to put a true receiver depth chart together for FSU because all the receivers cross-train at other positions. So although we have charted receivers at three positions, a guy like Ja’Von Harrison will line up at both Z and X, and Travis Rudolph will be the starter at Z when FSU is in a 2 WR set. But FSU is a base 3WR team, and we have done our best to represent where we think each player fits in the basic rotation.

X Receiver:

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

4th Team

Wayne

Pigg Harrison

Ermon Lane

Auden Tate

Jason

Ja’Von Harrison

Ermon Lane

Da’Vante Phillips

Auden Tate

Y Receiver (Slot)

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

4th Team

Wayne

Bobo Wilson

Travis Rudolph

Nyquan Murray

Jason

Bobo Wilson

Travis Rudolph

Kermit Whitfield

Nyquan Murray

Z Receiver

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

4th Team

Wayne

Travis Rudolph

George Campbell

Auden Tate

Jason

Travis Rudolph

George Campbell

Auden Tate

Wayne: Harrison is the big mover of the spring jumping over Ermon lane to start the spring game. He was a favorite target of Maguires on the second team last season and that has translated into success this season. Campbell looked great all spring and is right where he needs to be to make a move this summer. Rudolph and Bobo Wilson were both working with the first team this spring and have pushed to remain in the starting lineups. Phillips was out for the spring with a groin injury and wasn’t able to participate.

Jason: Ja’Von “Pigg” Harrison had the highest ceiling of the three 2014 wide receiver recruits but came in with further to go than Lane and Rudolph. He appears to have made up that ground this spring, overtaking Lane for one of the starting spots on the outside. Harrison is an explosive player with a large catch radius and should help provide the vertical threat on the outside that was lacking in 2014. Campbell is another rare freshman ready to go from day one and will make his share of big plays (and have a few drops) in the fall.

Rudolph and Wilson are solid players and should retain their starting spots, though each is likely to find himself increasingly inside. Lane was too inconsistent in the spring but will still play plenty. It’s a talented group overall and more explosive than we’ve seen in recent years, but the unit needs to get more consistent. (Consistent QB play would obvious help in that regard, too.)

Tight End

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

Wayne

Ryan Izzo

Mavin Saunders

Jeremy Kerr

Jason

Mavin Saunders*

Ryan Izzo

Jeremy Kerr

Wayne: Replacing the best tight end in Florida State history is a tough task for coach Tim Brewster, but Ryan Izzo is a quality player. He is a much better receiver than Kerr, and a much better blocker than Saunders, which is why he gets the nod over both. Jimbo favors players with consistency and that is exactly what you will get from Izzo. Saunders came on strong towards the end of the spring and will play quite a bit this season. Kerr was injured for most of the spring and fell well behind the other two.

Jason: Saunders is a freak and should wind up getting the most snaps of this group, but his effort level and lack of consistency still sometimes get him in trouble. He has become a much better blocker, however. Izzo is the most consistent of the group, but he doesn’t have the same receiving skills as Saunders. When FSU goes jumbo on the goal line, Kerr will be on the field. This remains an interesting spot to watch, as Saunders actually has a higher ceiling than O’Leary did, though he needs to put a little more nasty in his disposition.

Offensive Line

Wayne’s Uglies

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

LT

Roderick Johnson

Derrick Kelly

Abdul Bello

LG

Kareem Are

Cole Minshew

C

Alec Eberle

Ryan Hoefeld

Corey Martinez

RG

Wilson Bell

Derrick Kelly

RT

Chad Mavety

Brock Ruble

Ethan Frith

Wayne: The left tackle position is the only position on the offensive line not up for grabs. Roderick Johnson was arguably the best freshman offensive lineman in the country and will be one of the premier offensive lineman in the country. Kareem Are performed well at the left guard spot during the spring and locked that position down. Center was a major problem this spring with Ryan Hoefeld going out with a knee injury very early and Eberle and Martinez having problems with shotgun snaps. The injury puts Hoefeld behind and will likely push Eberle into the starting role assuming that Notre Dame graduate transfer Matt Hegarty doesn’t come in. Right guard started out with Derrick Kelly, but Wilson Bell took advantage of a Kelly concussion and arguably played the best of all the offensive linemen this spring. Mavety was out for a good bit of the spring with a concussion and redshirt freshman Brock Ruble stepped in admirably. The job is still likely going to Mavety, but Ruble gave Trickett something to think about.

Jason’s Uglies

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

LT

Roderick Johnson

Brock Ruble

Abdul Bello

LG

Kareem Are

Cole Minshew

C

Alec Eberle

Ryan Hoefeld

Corey Martinez

RG

Wilson Bell

Derrick Kelly

RT

Chad Mavety

Brock Ruble

Ethan Frith

Jason: The OL is still somewhat in flux, but Johnson and Are can pretty much be penciled in for the fall. Bell and Kelly will battle for the right guard position, as Kelly was the starter at that spot until going out with an injury and giving Bell a chance he made the most of. Mavety probably still wins the RT job, but Ruble was very impressive with the first unit when he was out with an injury, giving the staff some confidence to mix and match even more if need be.

The center position is still a problem, but Eberle and maybe even Martinez may have permanently passed Hoefeld after his injury in the spring. Both were inconsistent with their shotgun snaps but they were not turnstiles at the position, either. Ideally, Notre Dame graduate transfer Matt Hegarty ends up at FSU and stabilizes this position for a year, but even if he doesn’t, it’s unlikely we see anything as bad as the first half of 2014 at this spot. The other positive is that Are, Bell, and Kelly looked to be better combo blockers and more laterally nimble than last year’s guards, which should allow them to provide better help to the center if he’s struggling. There’s also still a chance that Mavety or Kelly could wind up getting moved to center if the other spots stabilize and they show they can snap it.

Bottom line is that this offensive line is going to be really good. For the first time in years, FSU will have natural NFL prospects starting at each tackle position (Erving and Hart were really interior guys playing at tackle), and all four first and second team guards are legitimate NFL prospects. This group is long, quick, and communicated extremely well in the spring game, so there’s a lot to be excited about here, particularly in the running game. Unless Are or Mavety winds up declaring early for the NFL draft, this whole group will return in 2016, which is shaping up to be a 2013-type year roster-wise.

Summary

With quality quarterback play, this offense would be among the nation’s best. But the most important position in football remains a giant question mark. As of right now, expect an Alabama-style offense that relies on running the football with Cook/Pender/Patrick behind an outstanding offensive line and then getting big plays from an explosive wide receiver group in the play action passing game. FSU will still spread the field with multiple WR sets, but the run/pass balance will tilt much more to the run than it has in recent years.

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