2012 NFL Draft Preview: Florida State

Florida State OT Zebrie Sanders Is Currently a Projected Second-Round Pick

Leading up to April’s NFL Draft, we’ll be taking a look at each ACC‘s school’s prospects and where they’re slated to be chosen. While 43 ACC players were invited to the NFL Draft Combine, those not in attendance also have ample opportunity to hear their name called between April 26 and 28.

Keeping most of their players from 2011’s strong team, the 2012 Florida State Seminoles look to be in great shape. Just six members of last year’s team appear to have a realistic shot of being drafted this year.

Zebrie Sanders, OT, Senior

While the 6’6″, 320-pound tackle certainly has the frame to warrant selection in this year’s NFL Draft, he was also part of a Florida State line that allowed 41 sacks last season (near the bottom of the ACC). Even though his aforementioned size is well-suited for his position, Sanders is showing signs of decline. His strength numbers measure well below what they should be for his build, and he’s gained 13 pounds since the 2011 season opened (not a good sign considering his strength hasn’t gone up). Speed-wise, there’s even more room for concern. If he expects to stop defenders with slow reaction times and a 5.41 40-time, he’s sorely mistaken. So how is he still a second-rounder? Once again, scouts see his frame and believe they can mold him into more of an athlete. If it works out, he’s a steal. If not, he’s a second-round gamble that just didn’t pay out (better than a first, anyway). Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Convos All-ACC Team (Defense)

Despite BC's Losing Record, Luke Kuechly Dominated on Defense in 2011

The Atlantic Coast Convos All-ACC Team honors the best players at each defensive position. We’ve provided a list of both first- and second-team selections based on what we’ve observed throughout the season. Feel free to disagree, however, since we did on several of the official ACSMA list.

First Team

Defensive End: Andre Branch, Clemson

Defensive End: James Gayle, Virginia Tech

Defensive Tackle: Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest

Defensive Tackle: Matt Conrath, Virginia

Linebacker: Luke Kuechly, Boston College

Linebacker: Sean Spence, Miami (FL)

Linebacker: Julian Burnett, Georgia Tech

Cornerback: David Amerson, NC State

Cornerback: Merrill Noel, Wake Forest

Safety: Matt Daniels, Duke

Safety: Josh Bush, Wake Forest

Punter: Shawn Powell, Florida State

Second Team

Defensive End: Quinton Coples, North Carolina

Defensive End: Brandon Jenkins, Florida State

Defensive Tackle: Joe Vellano, Maryland

Defensive Tackle: Brandon Thompson, Clemson

Linebacker: Terrell Manning, NC State

Linebacker: Zach Brown, North Carolina

Linebacker: Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech

Cornerback: Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech

Cornerback: Chase Minnifield, Virginia

Safety: Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

Safety: Eddie Whitely, Virginia Tech

Punter: Dalton Botts, Miami (FL)

Breakdown by team: Virginia Tech (4), Wake Forest (3), Clemson (2), Florida State (2), Georgia Tech (2), Miami (2), NC State (2), UNC (2), Virginia (2), BC (1), Duke (1), Maryland (1)

Check out the All-ACC Offensive Team, too.