State schools

FSU among public schools hoping for strong NFL Draft performance – Orlando Sentinel

The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the first overall pick when the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night in Las Vegas. Over the next three days, hundreds of college players will fulfill their childhood dreams of a professional football career.

Among those are players from all seven Football Bowl Subdivision college programs in Florida. Here’s a look at what to expect from some of the non-UF or UCF-named schools:

STATE OF FLORIDA

Edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II is expected to be a first-round pick, becoming the 11th Seminoles player picked in the first round since 2010. Johnson could become the first Seminole selected in the top 10 since safety Jalen Ramsey (2016).

While fellow defensive lineman Keir Thomas didn’t receive an invite to the NFL Combine, a strong performance at FSU’s Pro Day projected the former South Carolina transfer as a Day 3 selection.

Running back Jashaun Corbin, quarterback McKenzie Milton, receiver Andrew Parchment and linebacker Emmett Rice could be late-round options or free agents.

MIAMI

The Hurricanes have had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft in the past 47 years and that streak should remain intact.

After a strong 2021 draft in which Miami had first-round picks in Jaelan Phillips and Gregory Rousseau, they’re unlikely to have anyone selected in the first two days.

Many pundits are predicting safety Bubba Bolden as a fourth- or fifth-round selection. Receiver Charleston Rambo could join him after a career season with 1,172 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Miami could have up to 12 players drafted or signing free agent contracts, including running back Cam’Ron Harris, offensive lineman DJ Scaife Jr., safety Gurvan Hall Jr., lineman offensive Jarrid Williams, linebacker Zach McCloud, defensive lineman Jonathan Ford, cornerback DJ Ivey, quarterback D’Eriq King and receiver Mark Pope.

The Bulls haven’t signed anyone since 2018, and while that streak may continue, there are a few options to consider. Defensive tackle Kevin Kegler appeared in 51 games over his five seasons, totaling 73 career tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Tight end Mitchell Brinkman spent the past two seasons in Tampa after being traded from northern Illinois, and finished his career with 909 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.

Florida Atlantic has had 10 players drafted since 2010 but none since 2020.

Cornerback Zyon Gilbert has garnered some interest after a five-year college career that ended with 247 tackles, 26 passes defended and 5 interceptions. He ran a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash on the Owls’ Pro day.

Receiver John Mitchell was fifth on the team in receptions (19) and receiving yards (258) this season and his size (6-4) makes him a good target.

Linebacker Calife Brice has finished among the team’s top tacklers in each of the past two seasons. Brice had 58 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, 6 rushing quarterbacks and a half sack despite missing time with injuries.

Tailback D’vonte Price has earned All-Conference USA honors in three consecutive seasons after rushing for 2,203 yards with 15 touchdowns during his five-year FIU career. He hopes to become the first running back in program history selected in the NFL Draft, with some projecting him as a fifth-round selection.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.