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Ask Farrell: Will Seminoles bounce back from draft dry spell?

Cam Akers
Cam Akers (AP Images)

In the 2018 NFL Draft, Florida State had six players picked, including first-rounder Derwin James. The previous year the Seminoles boasted four draft picks including second-round running back Dalvin Cook.

The 2016 draft was a little light but it featured first-round cornerback Jalen Ramsey. In 2015, Florida State had 11 selections including first-rounders Jameis Winston and Cameron Erving and then three second-round picks.

In 2019, FSU only had two players picked, but at least defensive end Brian Burns went in the first round. Scroll through the NFL Draft lists over the last decade and there are Florida State players throughout each one.

Except this year.

Cam Akers was the only Seminoles player drafted and the former five-star running back was the fourth running back taken after LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Georgia’s D’Andre Swift and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor.

The former Clinton, Miss., standout who was ranked as the third-best player in the 2017 class never reached his full potential in Tallahassee although he had impressive numbers with the Seminoles

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Florida State Draft Picks
Year Total Picks Rounds 1-2

2015

11

5

2016

2

1

2017

4

2

2018

6

1

2019

2

1

2020

1

1

One respected writer who saw Hall of Famer Walter Payton play said Akers was better at the high school level, so there were all kinds of lofty expectations for Akers when he got to Florida State, but a bad offensive line plus other factors slowed his progress.

The last time Florida State had only one draft pick was in 2009. Before that, it was 1987.

The Seminoles have a new coach in Mike Norvell, who has had tremendous offensive success wherever he’s been especially in his last stop at Memphis.

There is a fresh excitement about the program even if recruiting has not taken off just as Florida State is ranked seventh early in the ACC rankings. North Carolina, Clemson and Miami are doing the best job in the conference so far.

FARRELL'S TAKE

We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if only having one or two NFL Draft picks per year is the “new normal” for the Seminoles - as that term has taken on new significance in today’s day and age - or if he sees Florida State returning to national prominence and many more draft picks like in previous years?

"No, this is not the new normal. It’s a down cycle. In the last decade or so programs like Texas, Notre Dame and others have gone through them and rebounded a bit and Florida State will do the same. Marvin Wilson could be a first-rounder next year and Hamsah Nasirildeen is also in some early mocks as a first-rounder as well. Wide receiver Tamorrion Terry is a physical freak and he should certainly be drafted at some point. I expect about five or six Seminoles to be picked next year and the way they recruit, they will be just fine as long as Norvell develops them.

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