Pro Day at FSU

FSU's pipeline to the NFL is well established. The 'Noles have had 31 players drafted the past five seasons, highlighted by seven first rounders. While FSU had just a pair selected in the 2002 draft, receiver Javon Walker was a first-round selection by Green Bay. The Seminoles should be well represented in next month's draft if Tuesday's Pro Day was any indication."I felt like I showed the scouts that I am one of the big-time receivers they are looking for," WR Talman Gardner said.

Florida State's pipeline to the NFL is well established.

The Seminoles have had 31 players drafted the past five seasons, highlighted by seven first rounders. While FSU had just a pair selected in the 2002 draft, receiver Javon Walker was a first-round selection of the Green Bay Packers.

FSU could very well extend its streak of first-round selections to 12 since 1989 in next month's NFL draft. Either way, the Seminoles should be well represented as more than 20 players performed before about 60 NFL scouts and coaches at FSU's annual Pro Day Tuesday.

"A lot of good players have come through this program down through the years," said first-year Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio.

"We are here looking for playmakers, looking for the best available players. We are trying to take all this in and gather our information. We will go back and assemble our board and determine what our plan of action will be."

For the players, their plan of action was simple -- make a favorable impression.

Several players seemed to enhance their draft status by improving their times in the 40-yard dash and other exercises. Receiver Talman Gardner may have had the most impressive workout, running a session-best 4.32 40, according to coaches. Gardner, who ranked 10th all-time on FSU's career touchdown reception list with 19, also caught the ball consistently.

"I felt like I showed the scouts that I am one of the big-time receivers they are looking for," Gardner said.

"Pretty much showing them that no DB (defensive back) can stop me. That's what I wanted to show them. Things went as well as I could have hoped. I am not sure where I will go (in draft). The second round is what I've been hearing but I just plan to keep on working out and keep on training."

Fellow receiver Anquan Boldin, who declared for early entry to the draft after a strong junior season, improved his stock after a subpar NFL combine in Indianapolis. Boldin, who was clocked at 4.70 at the combine, improved his 40 to 4.57. He also had dropped five pounds and weighed in at 211.

"I am in better shape," Boldin admitted. "You always want to do better but I am pleased."

Offensive linemen Brett Williams,Todd Williams and Montrae Holland also made nice strides.

Williams ran a 5.25 at the combine and did not participate in the bench press due to a sore shoulder. On Tuesday, Williams improved his time to between 5.03 and 5.08 and recorded 24 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press. He went in hoping to lift the weight as many as 20 times. After running a 5.07 at the combine, Todd Williams ran between a 4.97 and 5.03 Tuesday and benched 225 pounds 31 times, while Holland ran a 5.17.

"For it (shoulder) to get that much better after that amount of time, I was really happy," Brett Williams said. "I just wanted to show them I could bench without it bothering me. I just wanted to improve on what I did at the combine. And I've improved on every single thing I've done."

Added Holland: "I wanted to show them I can move a little bit. They have already seen my strength, so I am working on my mobility."

Defensive end Alonzo Jackson, who also seemed to slip some at the combine, running a 4.89, ran between a 4.68-4.73 Tuesday. He recorded just 15 reps in the bench press but had a 42-inch vertical jump.

Jackson, who led the Seminoles in sacks the past two seasons, believes he has held his own against some of the nation's elite at end. He also said the FSU coaching staff, namely ends coach Jody Allen and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews, have prepared him for the NFL.

"I didn't run as fast as I wanted to run (at NFL combine) - I can run faster and I can bench better but I don't think all that shows what kind of football player you are, Jackson said.

"But I think the position drills - I am not bragging on myself - but I thought I did very, very well. Coach Allen and Coach Andrews really prepared me and helped me. If you want to get ready for the combine and (testing), Florida State is where you want to be. I also have gained about 10 pounds of muscle and I've been watching a lot of film and I think that has also put me in a better situation."

FSU's situation, when it comes to the NFL draft, has always been pegged among the nation's best. That trend is expected to continue next month.


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