Scouting the ACC : Florida State
Florida State's offensive
backfield is full of NFL- prospects. Leon Washington reminds many of former first-round selection Warrick Dunn as he
is an undersized yet shifty, elusive runner tough to bring down.
Slashing off defenders to pick up yardage, Washington possesses
outstanding open field running skills and consistently squirts through the small
openings on the field. Making defenders miss, he has a compact build, runs low to
the ground and effectively catches the ball out of the backfield.
Not a strong ball carrier, he is more quick than fast and cannot run to
daylight. A well-rounded back,
Washington will land in the draft's top 45 selections next April.
Teammate Lorenzo Booker, an underclassman, is a little lighter yet
a quick footed ball carrier with great cutting skills and a well-rounded
game. Possessing a burst of speed, he immediately cuts back against
the grain and beats defenders around the corner.
Booker is also an exceptional receiver out of the backfield and has
potential as a third down back at the next level. The team offers a 1-2 punch at fullback with seniors James Coleman and B.J. Dean. Both
are large lead blockers who open big holes for ball carriers.
Upfront center David Castillo displays power in the middle of the
field, getting push from run blocks. Lacking
adjustment and footwork in space, Castillo is marginally effective on the second
level and has a history of knee injuries. Tight end Donnie Carter is an athletic pass catcher who
flashes skill and has an upside for the next level but is coming off a serious knee
Defensively the team is busting at the seams with talented prospects throughout the unit. Three players from this side of the ball to hold first round grades and another trio could find themselves selected during the drafts initial day. Defensive tackle Clifton Dickson is an athletic junior who quickly gets off the snap and plays with leverage, getting underneath opponents. Commanding double teams, he has a solid change of direction for big man and burst of closing speed. A prospect with an upside, Dickson was declared academically ineligible for the upcoming season and will not play. Backup Brodrick Bunkley is also an athletic lineman who flashes on the scene and makes plays laterally. Undersized, Bunkley must make the most of his playing opportunities this year. Kamerion Wimbley moves into the starting lineup and has been a pass rushing terror that wreaks havoc on opponents. Fast off the edge, Wimbley makes plays in any direction yet is significantly undersized and may have to make a move outside linebacker at the next level. The Seminoles have three linebackers who grade highly starting with junior Ernie Sims. An explosive defender who forces the action, Sims possesses outstanding sideline-to-sideline range and is a hard hitter that delivers the knockout blow. Playing with a good degree of suddenness, Sims easily brings opponents down on initial contact. To his credit he is also disciplined in pass coverage, getting depth on drops and making plays on the ball. Though not the largest linebacker in the world Sims plays bigger then his listed size and grades out as a first rounder. Middle linebacker Buster Davis, another junior, does a terrific job quarterbacking the defense. Outstanding in pursuit Davis displays terrific range and is a three down defender consistently around the action. Undersized he may only be effective in certain schemes but will be productive in the proper system. A.J. Nicholson, the senior of the group, is another athletic prospect with excellent speed in any direction. Quickly altering his angle of attack, Nicholson gets depth on drops and displays terrific range. Effective in coverage or run defense he is a potential top 60 selection next April. Entering the scouting process last April junior cornerback Antonio Cromartie was graded as a potential first round pick by NFL scouts. A nice sized corner, Cromartie is strong and offers blanket coverage on opponents. Physical, he helps out in run support and consistently makes positive plays in coverage. Early in the summer Cromartie tore ligaments in his knee and will sit on the sidelines in 2005. Not to despair as Florida State has another first round prospect in the defensive backfield. Safety Pat Watkins is an aggressive, physical force who likes to mix it up in run defense yet displays awareness in coverage. Possessing sideline-to-sideline range, Watkins flashes on the scene and looks like a first round centerfielder next April. The team welcomes the return of Kyler Hall, a safety who sat out most of last year with injury. An intelligent and instinctive player, Hall has only marginal size\speed numbers yet a great feel for the game and potentially sits as a late round selection next April.
Florida State Prospect List