TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The reigning Atlantic Coast Conference and Discover Orange Bowl champions set another school record as 11 Florida State players were selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Seminoles closed out the draft Saturday with six selections between the fifth and seventh rounds.
“It’s a great indication of how the program is truly developing,” FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said regarding leading the nation with 11 draftees. “I think it shows we’re getting back to national prominence. Our players are doing a great job of representing themselves on and off the field leading to chances at the next level. I think we’re going to have more guys sign free agent contracts and get a chance to play professionally. I’m proud of those guys as well. I’m happy for all of these guys and want to thank them for helping return this program back to the national spotlight.”
The Seminoles also led the nation with the most players selected. LSU and Alabama each had nine players taken while Georgia and Florida finished with eight players drafted. The 11 Seminoles chosen eclipse the previous record of 10 set in the 1995 NFL Draft. FSU also matched the ACC record, which Miami carried from the 2002 draft with 11 selections.
Running back Chris Thompson and defensive end Brandon Jenkins, who both suffered season-ending injuries in 2012, were taken in the fifth round by the Washington Redskins. Thompson was the 154th pick while Jenkins was taken with the 162nd pick. The seven Seminoles to go in the first five rounds were the most since the 2006 season.
Three more FSU players were taken in the sixth round as NCAA record setting kicker Dustin Hopkins joined quarterback EJ Manuel in the Buffalo Bills’ draft class. Hopkins was taken with the 177th pick. Linebacker Nick Moody was taken with the 180th pick by the San Francisco 49ers joining second round pick Cornellius “Tank” Carradine in San Francisco. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected linebacker Vince Williams with the final pick in the sixth round.
Defensive tackle Everett Dawkins was the final FSU player taken as he went in the seventh round to the Minnesota Vikings with the 229th pick.
Noting the Noles’ 2013 NFL Draft
·FSU led the nation with 11 players selected in the NFL Draft. LSU and Alabama each followed with nine while Florida and Georgia each had eight players selected.
·The 11 Seminoles taken in the 2013 draft set a school record surpassing the 1995 NFL Draft when FSU had 10 players go in the first five rounds which also included three first round picks – DE Derrick Alexander (Minnesota Vikings, 11th), DB Devin Bush (Atlanta Falcons, 26th), LB Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay Bucs, 28th).
·The five Seminoles to go in the first two rounds and first 42 picks are the most in school history. It’s also the most players chosen from one college in the first 45 picks since Alabama had five selected in the first 35 picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. Since 2000, only five schools have had at least five players selected in the first 45 picks. USC accomplished the feat twice in 2006 and 2008, while Miami in 2002 and Michigan in 2001 all had five selections. Miami set the record with six first round selections in the 2004 NFL draft.
·The trio of quarterback EJ Manuel (16th, Buffalo Bills), defensive end Bjoern Werner (24th, Indianapolis Colts) and cornerback Xavier Rhodes (25th, Minnesota Vikings) gave the Seminoles three first round selections for the first time since the 2006 NFL Draft when four FSU players were taken: Ernie Sims (9th, Detroit Lions), Kamerion Wimbley (13th, Cleveland Browns), Brodrick Bunkley (14th, Philadephia Eagles) and Antonio Cromartie (19th, San Diego Chargers).
·With three first round selections, Florida State now has 39 first round selections which are second-most in the ACC.
·Quarterback EJ Manuel became the second highest drafted quarterback from Florida State and the first Seminole selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Manuel is the third highest offensive player to go for the Noles since quarterback Christian Ponder in 2011 and offensive lineman Alex Barron in 2005. Ponder became the highest drafted quarterback in FSU history when he was taken with the 12th pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2011 NFL Draft. Before Ponder, Gary Huff was the highest drafted FSU QB as the 33rd overall pick in the 1967 draft.
·The last three starting quarterbacks to start multiple seasons under Jimbo Fisher have been drafted in the first round – Jamarcus Russell at LSU (Oakland Raiders, 1st pick, 2007), Christian Ponder (Minnesota Vikings, 12th pick, 2011) and EJ Manuel (Buffalo Bills, 16th pick, 2013).
·Buffalo drafted two more Seminoles in the 2013 Draft as EJ Manuel and Dustin Hopkins became the eighth and ninth FSU players ever taken by the Bills. The Bills took two Seminoles in the 2012 NFL Draft: Nigel Bradham (4th Round) and Zebrie Sanders (5th Round). Manuel and Hopkins will join former Seminoles P Shawn Powell, DS Garrison Sanborn, LB Nigel Bradham and OL Zebrie Sanders.
·Minnesota, San Franciso and Washington also each drafted two Seminoles in the 2013 NFL Draft. First round pick CB Xavier Rhodes and seventh round pick DT Everett Dawkins will join QB Christian Ponder and DT Letroy Guion with the Vikings. Fifth round picks RB Chris Thompson and DE/OLB Brandon Jenkins were taken by the Redskin while second round pick DE Tank Carradine and LB Nick Moody are now 49ers. The Vikings and Redskins have drafted a Seminole in two of the last three drafts. Ponder was the 12th overall pick of Minnesota in 2011. Markus White, who is now with Tampa Bay, was a seventh round selection of the Redskins in 2011.
·Florida State has had a player chosen in each of the last 30 NFL Drafts or since 1983.
·Since 2006, or the year the ACC became a 12-team league, the ACC has had 21 defensive ends or outside linebackers chosen in the first or second rounds of the NFL draft, the most of any conference in the nation. In the same amount of time the Big Ten is next with 13 followed by the SEC (12), the Pac-12 (8) and the Big 12 and Big East with 6 apiece.
·Since 2006, Florida State has the most first round picks in the ACC with 10, followed by North Carolina (6), Boston College (5), Miami (5) and Virginia (4).
Chris Thompson, RB, 5th Round, Washington Redskins
2012: Senior tailback who was in the midst of an outstanding season when he suffered a year-ending knee injury in the eighth game at Miami…ranked sixth in the ACC in rushing with 687 yards despite missing the final six games and was on pace to become FSU’s first 1,000-yard back since Warrick Dunn in 1996…played a key role in FSU’s resurgent running game, which averaged 205.9 yards a game and produced a single-season record 40 rushing touchdowns… major contributor to an FSU offense in 2012 which will go down in school history as the most productive ever racking up a school record 6,591 yards which surpassed the 2000 team for the most yards…co-winner of the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award as the Most Courageous player in 2012 after returning from two broken vertebrae in his back suffered at Wake Forest in early October of 2011…turned in three 100-yard rushing performances, highlighted by his career-best 197 yards against Wake Forest, which included TD runs of 74 and 80 yards…ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in win over No. 10 Clemson and followed with 141 yards on the ground at NC State…his 7.54 yards per carry average (91-687) is ahead of Dunn’s single-season school record average (7.48, 1995)…also led all running backs with 21 catches for 248 yards…ranked third in FSU history with a career 6.26 average after amassing 1,735 yards on 277 carries…ranked 15th all-time in career rushing yardage (1,735)…totaled 45 career receptions for 430 yards averaging 9.6 yards per reception…given the Leadership Award on offense at the team’s annual banquet.
Brandon Jenkins, DE, 5th Round, Washington Redskins
2012: Registered three tackles, one sack and had one pass break-up in the season opener against Murray State before suffering a season ending Lisfranc injury to his left foot. 2011: Second-year starting junior at the right defensive end position who earned second team All-ACC honors…made 27 consecutive starts, including all 13 games in 2011…one of the nation’s elite pass rushers…used in a variety of roles by defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, from the traditional down position to a stand-up player with rushing and coverage responsibilities…led all Seminole defensive linemen with 41 tackles and 29 solo stops…paced the team with 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks…his 36.5 career tackles for loss rank eighth in FSU history and his 21.5 quarterback sacks ties for eighth on the school’s all-time list…registered a season-high five solo tackles against No. 1 Oklahoma…had a season-best 2.5 sacks and tackles for loss against Virginia on a day when he finished with a season-high six tackles…earned ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors for his performance against the Cavaliers…played his best football down the stretch, posting 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks over the final three regular season games…played a leading role for an FSU defense that ranked second nationally in rushing defense and fourth in both total defense and points…named one of three most valuable players on the defense at the team’s annual banquet.
Dustin Hopkins, K, 6th Round, Buffalo Bills
2012: Set a new NCAA career scoring record for kickers (466 points)…established new NCAA, ACC and FSU records with 88 career field goals…his 88th career field goal in the Orange Bowl win over Northern Illinois pushed him past Georgia’s Billy Bennett (87, 2000-03)…posted 140 points to set a new ACC all-time single season scoring mark… single-handedly outscored five of FSU’s opponents this season (Murray State 15-3, Savannah State 7-0, Wake Forest 10-0, Boston College 15-7 and Duke 12-7)…ACC scoring leader among kickers with 10.0 ppg…kicked a career-best 56 yard field goal against Duke…converted all five of six field goal attempts of 50+ yards…made over 93 percent of his combined kicks (PAT and FG’s 290- 319)…became the Seminoles’ all-time leader with 290 career kicks made (202 PAT’s and 88 FG’s)…is one of only four kickers in school history who has made 200 or more kicks and the only one who has made 250 or more kicks…his 202 career PAT’s are a new FSU mark, established after his final conversion in the Orange Bowl…set new career-highs in FG made (25) and attempted (30)…has kicked at least one field goal in 46 career games to set the all-time NCAA record, previously held by Blair Walsh of Georgia (45, 2008-11).
Nick Moody, LB, 6th Round, San Francisco 49ers
2012: Played in all 14 games and made 10 starts as the Seminoles strongside linebacker…defensive veteran who played in 49 career games and amassed 155 career tackles…converted from safety and played in 35 games and started a combined14 games in the secondary between 2009-2011…registered 20 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss…made his first solo sack and totaled three tackles in the Orange Bowl against Northern Illinois…credited with three quarterback hurries, which came in all three of FSU’s games versus top 16 opponents (Clemson, Florida, NIU)…helped Florida State’s defense lead the nation in yards allowed per play (3.86), rank second nationally in total defense (254.14 ypg) and rank in the top six nationally in scoring defense (14.71 ppg), rushing defense (92.29 ypg), pass defense (161.86 ypg), pass efficiency defense (95.43) and opponent three-and-outs (6.29 per game)…received the Don Powell Award for the unsung hero on defense and co-recipient of the Defensive Warrior award given by the strength and conditioning staff at the team’s annual banquet.
Vince Williams, LB, 6th Round, Pittsburgh Steelers
2012: Senior who started all 14 games for FSU at the middle linebacker spot…helped Florida State’s defense lead the nation in yards allowed per play (3.86), rank second nationally in total defense (254.14 ypg) and rank in the top six nationally in scoring defense (14.71 ppg), rushing defense (92.29 ypg), pass defense (161.86 ypg), pass efficiency defense (95.43) and opponent three-and-outs (6.29 per game)finished fourth on the team with 59 tackles as he eclipsed 50 tackles for the second straight season…recorded five or more tackles in seven of his 14 games…set a career-high with 10 tackles in the Orange Bowl win over Northern Illinois which included his first sack of the season…set a career high with 6.5 tackles for loss for the season and a new career best with two stops behind the line in the ACC Championship Game win over Georgia Tech…had a big game in a key road win at Virginia Tech recording five tackles, a tackle for loss, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery…recorded tackles for loss in four of the last five games…named one of four team captains and given the Leadership Award on defense at the team’s annual banquet.
Everett Dawkins, DT, 7th Round, Minnesota Vikings
2012: A rock in the middle of FSU’s defensive line who led all FSU defenders with 41 career starts…finished the season with 26 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, including a half-sack and a pass break-up…recorded at least a half sack in five straight seasons (received a medical redshirt in 2008)…recorded a tackle in 12 straight games…had a big game in the Seminoles’ win over USF with a season-high three tackles, and a half sack…versus Clemson recorded two quarterback hurries and a pass break-up… helped Florida State’s defense lead the nation in yards allowed per play (3.86), rank second nationally in total defense (254.14 ypg) and rank in the top six nationally in scoring defense (14.71 ppg), rushing defense (92.29 ypg), pass defense (161.86 ypg), pass efficiency defense (95.43) and opponent three-and-outs (6.29 per game)…his ability to help shut down the run (FSU allowed 2.75 yards per rush) and command extra attention in the middle helped free up FSU’s standout defensive end duo of Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine….selected to the 2012 Under Armour Senior Bowl… co-recipient of the Unselfish Leadership Award on defense and Defensive Warrior award given by the strength and conditioning staff at the team’s annual banquet.
Jimbo Fisher Quotes:
Fisher on RB Chris Thompson
“I’m unbelievably excited for Chris. With all the things he’s been through and have come back from, hopefully it will all pay off for him at the next level. Not only is he one of the great players in Florida State history, but he’s one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever coached.”
Fisher on DE Brandon Jenkins
“I’m very happy Brandon was selected. I think the Redskins got a true steal of the draft. He’s going to be a tremendous NFL football player as a pass rusher and outside backer. He’s just scratched the surface of his abilities.”
Fisher on K Dustin Hopkins
“I’m very happy for Dustin. He was one of only two kickers selected and gets to join some of our other Florida State players in the Buffalo organization. His game will translate very well at the next level from his kickoffs to his field goals. He shows great height and great distance on his kicks which will go a long way in making him a great pro. I’m looking forward to watching him play professionally.”
Fisher on LB Nick Moody
“Nick really emerged after making the move to linebacker adding great size. He’s going to be a great asset in pass coverage as an outside backer as well as a special teams’ player. He’s going to be a contributor to the 49ers organization and I’m glad he’s getting this opportunity.”
Fisher on LB Vince Williams
“I’m very proud for Vince. In that 3-4 system, he’ll be another physical down-hill football player like all those Steeler linebackers. He really developed himself into one heck of a football player and was a great leader for us this past year. He’ll be a great ambassador for Florida State and will fit in really well with that Steelers’ organization.”
Fisher on DT Everett Dawkins
“Everett’s getting the chance to get up to Minnesota with a few of our other guys and I’m very happy for him. He was a great player for us and really developed himself into a great defensive tackle. He was very unselfish for us taking on double teams and holding down the point. His game will translate very well to the next level. I’m looking forward to him having a successful career.”
6-5 / 240 lbs. / Quarterback
Virginia Beach, Va. (Bayside)
Round 1 | Pick 16
6-3 / 266 lbs. / Defensive End
Berlin, Germany (Salisbury)
Round 1 | Pick 24
6-1 / 210 lbs. / Cornerback
Miami, Fla. (Norland)
Round 1 | Pick 25
6-4 / 276 lbs. / Defensive End
Cincinnati, Ohio (Taft/Butler C.C.)
San Francisco 49ers
Round 2 | Pick 40
6-5 / 310 lbs. / Offensive Tackle
Manchester, Great Britain (Saddleback C.C.)
Round 2 | Pick 42
5-7 / 192 lbs. / Running Back
Greenville, Fla. (Madison County)
Round 5 | Pick 154
6-2 / 251 lbs. / Defensive End
Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida High)
Round 5 | Pick 162
6-2 / 193 lbs. / Kicker
Houston, Texas (Clear Lake)
Round 6 | Pick 177
6-1 / 236 lbs. / Linebacker
Wyncote, Pa. (Roman Catholic)
Round 6 | Pick 180
6-0 / 247 lbs. / Linebacker
Davenport, Fla. (Ridge Community)
Round 6 | Pick 206
6-2 / 292 lbs. / Defensive Tackle
Spartanburg, S.C. (Byrnes)
Round 7 | Pick 229