It was a quiet weekend for former Seminoles in the 2022 NFL Draft. Only one former Florida State star, defensive end Jermaine Johnson, was selected during the course of the weekend. And even then, Johnson fell a lot farther in the first round than most draft analysts expected, finally being drafted with the No. 26 overall pick after rumors he could go as high as No. 4.
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There was a hope that running Jashaun Corbin and defensive end Keir Thomas would hear their names called as well. Instead, they’ll join wide receiver Andrew Parchment (Carolina), tight end Jordan Wilson (Cincinnati), linebacker Emmett Rice (New York Giants), and offensive lineman Devontay Love-Taylor (Tampa Bay) as undrafted free agents.
In total, the last four NFL Drafts have resulted in just eight players from Florida State being selected. That’s a far cry from 2013-15, when 29 former Seminoles were drafted in three years.
Could that number begin to shift in 2023? Sports Illustrated’s Ric Serritella released an early big board for the 2023 NFL Draft shortly after this year’s festivities wrapped up. Interestingly enough, one rising senior and three underclassmen from Florida State were included on the list.
Robert Scott, Offensive Tackle
Following two promising years at Florida State, Scott slots in as the No. 7 offensive tackle on the board. He has started 18 games during his career with the Seminoles at right tackle (12 starts) and left tackle (six starts). It’s expected that Scott will lock down the left tackle spot in 2022 unless the coaching staff is able to bring in an offensive tackle from the transfer portal that will allow him to shift to the right side.
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The Arkansas native has an NFL caliber frame with the tools to blossom into something special. It’ll be imperative for Scott to show that he can make it through a full season relatively healthy as injuries limited his effect at times in 2021.
Robert Cooper, Defensive Tackle
It was a welcome sight for Florida State fans when veteran defensive lineman Robert Cooper elected to come back for his final season of eligibility. His presence shores down the interior of the defense alongside Fabien Lovett, Jarrett Jackson, and Malcolm Ray. Cooper has started 28 games during the course of his college career and brings a consistent impact as a space-eating defensive tackle.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound senior has totaled 104 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks since signing with the Seminoles in 2018. Cooper is regarded as the No. 13 defensive tackle on the big board, he can rise throughout the process with a dominant showing in the fall, which doesn’t seem far off after how he performed in the spring.
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Amari Gainer, Outside Linebacker
This one might come as a little bit of a surprise as Gainer has struggled to find a consistent role since head coach Mike Norvell was hired in 2020. Despite that, he’s primed to enter the 2022 season as the team’s career leader in tackles with 193 stops in four years. Safety Jammie Robinson technically has more with 219 career tackles but 135 of those tackles came before he transferred to Florida State from South Carolina.
Gainer has earned snaps at outside linebacker and off of the edge. He has a capable frame and presents intriguing positional versatility. That should continue this fall as Gainer jockeys for a starting linebacker spot with Tatum Bethune and Kalen DeLoach. It’s possible he settles in as a pass-rusher off of the edge as the Seminoles experiment lineups to offset the losses of Jermaine Johnson and Keir Thomas.
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound linebacker is ranked No. 19 of 20 outside linebackers on the board. He enters the fall with 193 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles in 17 career starts.
Jammie Robinson, Safety
After flirting with testing the NFL Draft waters this year, Robinson eventually decided to return to Tallahassee for another season to boost his stock. Not only could this move benefit Robinson, but it also provides Florida State with experience at safety to couple with the rising young talent at cornerback. This unit has been a weakness for the program over the last few years but that will probably change in 2022.
The Georgia native is a physical safety that makes his presence felt in the running game. He brings an attitude to the defensive side of the ball and that’s a big reason why he developed into one of the leaders of Florida State’s defense last year. Robinson has solid coverage instincts that improved throughout 2021, evidenced by his four interceptions that all came in the final six games of his redshirt junior campaign.
Robinson led the Seminoles in tackles last season with 84 stops, 7 tackles for loss, 3 pass deflections, 4 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. Like Robert Scott with the offensive tackles, Robinson comes in as the No. 7 safety on the big board.
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