Scouting the ACC: Florida State

An "off-season" for the ‘Noles in 2001 as though they made a New Years Day bowl appearance, it was not of the BCS variety. With a number of skills players returning from injury, a strong-armed passer gaining experience and the dominance we've come to expect returning on defense, FSU should be close to their usual for in '02 both on the field and in NFL War Rooms.

Florida State Seminoles

There is a lot of potential and depth on the offensive unit, starting up front. Brett Williams has been a terrific blind-side tackle for the ‘Noles two years running. He's strong, smart and very efficient using both technique and blocking angles to get the job done. Williams is not a nimble lineman nor does he have great blocking range and he may be better off on the right side at the next level but will still be a top sixty choice, if not earlier in ‘03. Todd Williams is a dominant run blocker at right tackle that controls opponents once engage at the point of attack but has even less lateral agility and blocking range. Still, he's seemingly the forgotten man on a line that has supplied a lot of talent to the big leagues and could make a move up boards into the draft's first day if he takes his game to the next level. Montrae Holland is coming off a very sub-par season but at the top of his game can be a dominant run blocker that opens huge holes for his running backs. Not a nifty lineman and best in confined quarters, Holland needs to quickly turn it around. Milford Brown really made a splash his first year in the program and showed excellent skills and techniques throughout the season. While not dominant, Brown gets the job done run blocking or in pass-protection and has a decent amount of upside to his game, which will warrant a middle round choice Center Antoine Mirambeau is solid on the pivot but lacks the great upside and is free agent material. They have a ton of wide outs, with a pair coming back from injury. Talman Gardner is an athletic receiver with deceptive speed that stretches the defense. He is not a natural wide out nor does he catch the ball cleanly and as of now is a middle round choice. Anquan Boldin was a receiver we liked coming into the '01 season before he was moved to quarterback then missed the year with injury. Boldin has nice size, hands and consistency; should he pull it together as a senior and run well prior to the draft he could move into the first day. Robert Morgan is another injured pass catcher that showed reliable skills prior last season in both the long and short field. Running back Greg Jones has terrific potential as an interior ball carrier and the junior will get a lot of looks over the next two seasons as will Chris Rix if he continues to progress. Rix has excellent pocket passer size and the arm to match, displaying the ability to drive or zip his throws anywhere on the field. Rix must improve his fundamentals, which will result in better accuracy and move him into the early part of the draft in either '03 or '04.

The defensive unit has a lot of stars in the making and can be a dominant force on the college scene next year. Junior Darnell Dockett is a tremendous athlete with great explosion off the snap and abilities to make plays in every direction from his defensive tackle position, displaying speed in his pursuit of the action. Dockett has a lot of upside potential and in many ways reminds us of former ‘Nole Larry Smith to this point. If he stays in school and develops, both physically and mentally, he will go higher than Smith (a second round choice of the Jaguars) and break into the first round. Another we like is Alonzo Jackson, like Dockett an athletic frontline defender that plays with explosion and speed. Jackson is a solid edge rusher that will chase and catch the ball carrier from the backside. He is a little undersized and may get some looks at linebacker as pre-draft workouts will dictate much for Jackson. The same can be said for another Jackson, OJ Jackson, an undersized edge rusher who reminds us of a lesser David Warren. All three Seminole linebackers will be drafted in one form or another. Michael Boulware is fast, covers a great amount of area on the field and has consistently progressed as a football player. His abilities to make plays sideline-to-sideline, up the field or in reverse is impressive as is his intensity. Boulware does show some hesitation to his game but if he fine-tunes his instincts, he is a big-time prospect. Kendyll Pope shows much the same range and ability to play in space. He looks picture perfect for the weak-side and is another that will get early round consideration when he enters the draft. Jerel Hudson did a fine job filling in for Bradley Jennings last season and will get late round consideration. FSU has a terrific pair of young cover corners in junior Stanford Samuels and sophomore Bryant McFadden, both players with bright futures and the potential to be early selections. Malcolm Tatum has possibilities as a zone cover-man but may not have the speed to warrant a draft choice.

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