Florida State Seminoles
2020 NFL Draft Prospects
Cam Akers, RB
Career Snapshot: Three year starter for the Seminoles. Earned Second Team All-ACC honors in 2019 as a junior after rushing for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. Ranks fifth in Florida State history in rushing attempts. One of three Seminoles to have multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons.
Positives: Productive college running back who displays solid vision, has a compact build, and works runs. Keeps his feet moving, breaks arm tackles and squeezes through the small openings of the offensive line. Quick-footed with the ability to bounce around piles, displays solid lateral speed and a burst through the hole.
Runs with proper lean, has an aggressive style, and falls forward when tackled. Patient, waits for blocks to develop and quickly cuts back in a small area. Solid pass catcher who adjusts backwards to grab the errant throw from the air.
Negatives: Lacks an outstanding next-level skill. Not a truly creative ball carrier who makes defenders miss on a consistent basis. Lacks true breakaway speed. Doesn’t break tackles or pick up much yardage off initial contact. Gets in trouble when he tries to run east and west when he should turn it upfield.
Analysis: Akers was a consistent ball carrier for Florida State and plays with a tough, tenacious style, but he lacks top physical skills for the next level. He does enough things well to make it as a fourth back on the depth chart, but I don’t expect Akers to be anything other than a late-round pick.
Keith Gavin, WR
Career Snapshot: Spot starter in four seasons with Florida State. Had a career-high 27 receptions in 2017 as a sophomore and a career high 415 yards as a junior. Served as a key special teams player for the Seminoles in 2017.
Positives: Nice-sized receiver who comes back to the ball, adjusts to the errant throw and gets down to scoop up low passes. Sells routes, works even if he’s not directly involved in the play and blocks effectively downfield. Uses his size as an advantage and plays big football. Gets vertical in a crowd, plays with body control and uses his hands to separate. Extends to make the reception away from his frame, keeps the play in bounds and works to pick up positive yardage.
Negatives: Never a big part of the Florida State offense. Lacks a quick release off the line and plays to one speed. Marginal production in college.
Analysis: Gavin possesses the size and has shown enough pass-catching skill to get an invitation to camp this summer, but he must quickly produce to make a roster. At the very least, he should receive practice-squad consideration this fall.
Alex Hornibrook, QB
Career Snapshot: Transfer from Wisconsin who started three games in his final season at Florida State. Previously a three year starter for the Badgers. Named ACC Quarterback of the Week after a 316 yard, 3 touchdown performance against North Carolina State.
Positives: Former Wisconsin signal-caller with a good head for the position. Patient, buys time for receivers, and moves outside the pocket to give himself a better view of the field. Remains poised under the rush, goes to check down receivers, and takes a big hit in order to get the throw away. Effectively sells ball fakes, knows where receivers are on the field and possesses a quick release. Accurate and really does not make receivers wait for the pass.
Negatives: College career was plagued by inconsistency and injury. Average deep arm and downfield accuracy.
Analysis: Hornibrook has flashed ability and has NFL size, but he never really displayed a complete game. He has upside and should get consideration on a practice squad this fall.
Dontavious Jackson, ILB
Career Snapshot: Three year spot starter at Florida State. Earned team’s Monk Bonasorte Award in 2018 as a junior. In 2018, became first Seminoles defender with multiple 14-tackle games since 2001.
Positives: Stout run-thumping inside linebacker who remains disciplined with assignments, keeps the action in front of him and plays with a nasty attitude. Forceful up the field, fires through the gaps and breaks down well. Displays a terrific head for the ball in run defense. Strong, plays through blocks and gets to the action.
Negatives: Possesses average size and speed, has limited ability in pursuit and does not show a closing burst. Marginally productive in coverage. Liability when the ball is in the air. Failed to live up to expectations as a senior.
Analysis: Jackson was a terrific run-defending linebacker at the college level, but he’s a one-dimensional defender with limited upside. He entered his senior season with late-round grades, but he played poorly and will now have to make it the hard way.
Hamsah Nasirildeen, S
Positives: Large, physical safety who is best playing downhill. Fires up the field to defend the run, drives his shoulders through ball carriers and plays with an aggressive attitude. Has terrific length, shows explosion at the point and consistently creates turnovers. Knows where he is on the field, effectively reads and diagnoses the action and stays with assignments. Sells out to make plays.
Negatives: Possesses average ball skills and faceguards too much when he plays over the slot receiver. Lacks great sideline-to-sideline speed. Possesses average quickness and a marginal closing burst.
Analysis: Nasirildeen was not graded by scouts coming into the season, but he was a dominant force against the run who consistently created turnovers. He’s more of a traditional safety, but he likely has the frame to add 10 pounds and move to linebacker. Regardless of how teams view him for the next level, Nasirildeen is a practice-squad prospect with nice upside.
Stanford Samuels, CB
Career Snapshot: Two year starter for the Seminoles. Named Honorable Mention All-ACC in 2019 as a junior. Father played for the Seminoles from 1999 to 2003. Declared early for the NFL Draft, forgoing his senior season.
Positives: Nice-sized cornerback who flashes ability. Quickly flips his hips off the line of scrimmage, possesses a physical nature and battles receivers to defend the throw. Possesses a closing burst to the ball, uses his size as an advantage, and physically beats down receivers to knock away passes. Fires up the field to defend the run and gives effort. Explosive hitter.
Negatives: Inefficient, does not always play under control and misses tackles. Loses off the line and does not always know where his receiver is. Slow to track the pass in the air. Questionable instincts. Must improve his consistency.
Analysis: Samuels is a physical defensive back who needs a complete overhaul of his ball skills. He has upside and could surprise at the next level if properly coached.
Levonta Taylor, CB
Career Snapshot: Three year starter for the Seminoles. Battled injury through much of his career at Florida State. Was the nation’s top cornerback recruit in 2015.
Positives: One-time highly rated cornerback prospect who fires up the field, works to defend the run, and squares into ball carriers to bring them down at the point of attack. Quick, agile, and easily changes direction. Effective when he faces the action and displays a burst out of his plant. Fluid in his backpedal and quick to flip his hips.
Negatives: Play leveled off and even regressed the past two seasons. Possesses marginal instincts and awareness and shows little in the way of ball skills. Meanders around the field too much. Takes poor angles to the action. Has a smallish build and poor speed.
Analysis: Taylor looked like the next top cornerback out of Florida State early in his career, but his game has fizzled out. He comes with average size and speed and regressing ball skills, which will make it difficult for him at the next level.
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