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2 posts from January 10, 2014

January 10, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin Reportedly Set to Enter 2014 NFL Draft


Kelvin Benjamin potentially had two years of eligibility left but the redshirt sophomore has opted to forego both of them and will reportedly enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

Nobody on Florida State's roster saw their draft stock soar more this past season than Benjamin. The 6-6 230 WR tied a Florida State single season record with 15 touchdown receptions and really came on strong at the end of the season. Whether it was destroying Florida for [insert] or hauling in the game-winning catch against Auburn in the BCS Championship Game, Benjamin showed time and time again this season that he is capable of making the big plays and the highlight reel catches that are so coveted in the NFL.

The question moving forward will be Benjamin's consistency. Were it not for his age (Benjamin will be a 24 year-old rookie next season) it may have been good for Benjamin to return for another season. His size and athletic abillity are top notch but consistency has been an issue for KB in the past. It's not uncommon (as happened against UF) for Benjamin to drop a fairly routine catch or two during the course of the game and then go make a spectacular grab a series later that drops a jaw or two and ends up in the Sportscenter Top 10. 

If Benjamin is going to live up to his potential at the next level he's going to have to get a handle on some of the concentration issues that have plagued him and called his consistency into question. A lot of that can be attributed to Benjamin's relative inexperience though. Whereas most players at the collegiate level started playing football back as a grade schooler, Benjamin played just three years of high school ball before arriving in Tallahassee. 2013 was the first time he saw consistent playing time. 

Still most NFL teams will be enamored with Benjamin's upside. He's already receiving a first ground grade from most draft experts and his combine and Pro Day workouts should vault him up even higher. You just don't see many receivers with Benjamin's combination of speed, size and body control. Somebody is going to take KB very high come the NFL Draft.


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Tim Jernigan Entering NFL Draft


Florida State defensive tackle Tim Jernigan has opted to forego his senior season and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

Frankly, of all the players on the draft bubble, Jernigan's decision to turn pro was the most predictable. Since arriving on campus Jernigan has been one of the best defensive tackles on the Florida State roster. He got significant playing time as a freshman, was a vital cog as a sophomore and then proceeded to turn in an absolutely dominant 2013 season as a junior. Jernigan capped that effort with a tremendous BCS Championship game -- playing with the flu -- that saw him impose his will on a very good Auburn rushing attack. 

Most scouting services have Jernigan pegged as a first round pick with many listing him as high as the top 15 players. Jernigan's statline is impressive on its own -- he finished third on the team with 63 tackles and added 4.5 sacks -- but it's not indictative of the impact he had on the Florida State defense this year. It all started with the defensive front and Jernigan was the anchor of that front. Whether it was eating up blockers, collapsing the pocket from the middle or just clogging a gap, Jernigan wasn't always the guy making the play but he was almost always affecting it. 

Jimbo Fisher has called Jernigan one of the best defensive linemen he's ever been around.

As for Florida State, they still have a fairly deep group of defensive linemen but will also be losing Jacobbi McDaniel and Demonta McAllister. Eddie Goldman, Justin Shanks, Keith Bryant and Nile Lawrence-Stample will all be back next season and FSU will look to them to replace Jernigan.

Easier said than done.


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