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March 18, 2013
Last year's Florida State Pro Day barely registered on the NFL radar. With only a handful of viable prospects on campus for the annual pre-draft workout, there was very little excitement and even fewer NFL decision makers in attendance. When the dust settled, FSU didn't have a player drafted until the fourth round.
Depending on the opinion or the mock draft, as many as four former Seminoles could hear their names called in the first round of next month's draft. And there could be a dozen or more FSU players selected during the draft's seven rounds.
According to head football coachJimbo Fisher the increased number of draftable players at this year's Pro Day is a direct result of having more talent in the program.
"Now you are getting better players, we are winning games and when you start to see this you are becoming a program. You aren't just a team, you are a good program," said Fisher. "Hopefully we'll have these kinds of numbers consistently from here on out ... I think it's a sign of where this program is going."
While there will definitely be more players with NFL potential at this year's Pro Day, where those players end up in the draft is still up for debate. And what happens on Tuesday could have major impact on many players' stock in the eyes of NFL scouts and coaches. For some of the elite prospects Tuesday could be the difference between a first or second round pick. For others, a strong performance could result in a free agency opportunity or even getting picked up in the later rounds.
While most of the FSU draft talk has centered around high profile players like Bjoern Werner, Xavier Rhodes and EJ Manuel, Tuesday could be even more important for Chris Thompson. The former FSU starting tailback tore his ACL against Miami back in October but is reportedly ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation and is expected to take part in most of the tests on Tuesday.
"Everybody is in a wait and see (mode) until they see how the injury plays out," Fisher said of Thompson's NFL prospects. "I think a lot of people liked him and he was really climbing (the charts). He wasn't on the radar big last year because he was hurt the year before. They are waiting to see because he was really sky rocketing before he got hurt. Somebody is going to get a steal in this deal before it's over with."
Defensive ends Cornellius Carradine and Brandon Jenkins, and former FSU cornerback Greg Reid, will also be out to prove that they on the road to recovery following serious injuries sustained this past season, although it was reported Monday that Carradine may not be 100 percent back from his torn ACL until April. All have the talent to make an NFL team if they can prove they are healthy enough to contribute come fall.
In addition to quality, there will be plenty of quantity inside Doak Campbell Stadium. Between the current and former FSU Seminoles, 31 total players are expected to participate in this year's Pro Day. That's nearly double the 16 that took part in last year's FSU Pro Day.
The list of former players taking part on Tuesday includes a couple former first round draft picks - defensive end Travis Johnson and offensive tackle Alex Barron. Johnson played in the league for six years and is hoping to make a comeback after sitting out the last two seasons. Barron has been in the league for eight years but spent the last two on practice squads at New Orleans and Seattle.
Pro Day is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and will take part inside Doak Campbell Stadium.
Expected Participant List
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