2014 NFL Draft Schedule
Thursday, May 8: Round 1, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, May 9: Rounds 2-3, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 10: Rounds 4-7, 12:00 p.m.
TV: NFL Network, ESPN
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher will appear on NFL Network's coverage of the draft on Friday and Saturday. He'll appear on the NFL Draft Pre-Show on Friday at 5:30 and participate in NFL.com's Draft Xtra from 8-9 p.m. He'll also participate in draft coverage on Saturday from 3-5 p.m.
Florida State's former players have seen their draft stock go up and down over the last four months. This weekend, they'll finally learn if they'll be going north, south, east or west to join their future NFL teams.
As many as nine former Seminoles could be drafted this year, following a school-record 11 picks in 2013. Some, like wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, might become No. 1 picks. Still more might join the NFL ranks as undrafted free agents.
The draft marks the end of a long process for many players, whose goal has been to reach the NFL since their days of backyard football. It's taken years of work to arrive at this point, only to be subjected to months of drills, testing, workouts, physical examinations and interviews.
It hasn't always been an easy road, either. Three former 'Noles reportedly tested positive at the NFL Combine in February and could see their draft stock take a hit. That includes defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, an All-American at FSU who was projected by some as a first-round pick. Linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith are the other two. Running back James Wilder Jr. was arrested in April after missing a court date for a traffic citation.
But while the NFL Draft is a goal for many, it's not an endgame. Undrafted free agents and late round picks have to fight their way onto a roster, while top picks will battle against more experienced players and heavy expectations while trying to contribute immediately.
As Fisher might say, it's "part of the process."
That process continues anew next year for Florida State, which could set a new school record with a dozen or more draftees, depending on which underclassmen declare for the NFL. After having just 10 players drafted from 2010-2012, the Seminoles could have over 30 draftees in the three-year period from 2013-15.
A handful of records could fall this year anyway. Benjamin could be the first FSU wide receiver drafted in the first round since 2002 (Javon Walker), and Jernigan could be the first defensive tackle picked in the first round since 2006 (Brodrick Bunkley). He'll also be the fifth FSU defensive lineman picked in two years after four were drafted last year.
Jones and Smith would be the third and fourth FSU linebackers picked in the last two years. Safety Terrence Brooks, who has seen his stock steadily rise through the pre-draft process, could become FSU's highest-picked safety in over a decade.
Fisher's "process" is all about moving forward. For those players, that's exactly what the NFL is.