The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off this week, beginning with the first round this Thursday, starting at 8 pm and set to be broadcast on ESPN, ABC and NFL Network.
While there aren’t a multitude of Seminoles expected to hear names called throughout the process, defensive end Jermaine Johnson has absolutely shot up draft boards after a dominant fall and impressive pre-draft process. He’s been projected as high as No. 4 to the New York Jets and is a virtual lock to be selected in the first round.
Where will Johnson head to? What other FSU players might get selected? Who will get a shot as an undrafted free agent?
Ben Meyerson, Tommy Mire and CoachAB weigh in with their thoughts:
The big question — after a huge season and impressive pre-draft process, where will defensive end Jermaine Johnson land?
CoachAB: Johnson is a player many are projecting in the top 10 but I’ve got him slotted a little later in the first. Johnson goes 18 overall to YOUR Philadelphia Eagles.
tommy: There has been a lot of hype around JJ 11 and rightfully so. What’s left to prove? He is arguably the top end in the draft and most experts agree he will be gone early to mid in the 1st round. ACC Player of the Year, First-team All-American, either tied or led the country in sacks for most of the season (he finished with 12 and two forced fumbles) but aside from that his ability to diagnose the run and create constant pressure are what sets him apart. I’ll take the Kiper approach and go with Johnson at No. 15 in an unprecedented 2022 draft dominated by defensive picks.
Well: Since the Senior Bowl Jermaine Johnson’s stock has skyrocketed. Prior to the event in Mobile, he was a projected 2nd-3rd round pick with upside. Since then he has been a sure-fire first-round pick if not a Top-15 prospect.
He has proven his ability to be comfortable as a classic 4-3 edge defender or a 3-4 outside linebacker throughout his collegiate career. Beyond his impact leadership, teams will be attracted by his complete game being effective in both the run and pass defense.
#USF Draftees Combine Comparison:
Jermaine Johnson (’22) 6’5 254 Ibs
10-yard split: 1.55s
Arm Length: 34′
Wingspan: 82 7/8′
Brian Burns (’19) 6’5 249 lbs
10-yard split: 1.54s
Arm Length: 33 7/8′
Wingspan: 83 5/8′
—Ben Meyerson (@ByBenMeyerson) April 26, 2022
I think he finds himself in that 12th-21st overall pick range, starting with Minnesota and ending with New England. Teams like the Vikings, Texans, Ravens, Eagles, and Patriots all have that need for an edge defender.
My favorite two fits are Baltimore or New England, JJ is a culture guy and both of those places have foundations in place for him to flourish. I also have fears that a Houston or New York will want that culture, it would be great for them but not great for Jermaine.
What other Seminoles will be drafted?
CoachAB: I can see Keir Thomas and Jashaun Corbin going in the draft. I’ve got Corbin in the 4th/5th range and Thomas in the 6th/7th.
tommy: This comes down to more of who I want to get drafted compared to the reality of things related to FSU as of late. Conservatively, I think 4-5th 6-7th are accurate for both Corbin and Thomas but it wouldn’t surprise me if they fall into the UDFA category. I sincerely hope I’m wrong and get laughed at for those predictions.
Well: With Jashaun Corbin being at the combine and east-west bowl is huge in getting him those extra opportunities to interact with NFL teams. To me he is still a round 5-7 guy who could be a preferred UDFA, meaning he will have some options if he is not drafted. Keir is a round 6-7 player who will more likely go the undrafted free agent route.
Who from Florida State will get an opportunity as an undrafted free agent?
CoachAB: Jordan Wilson has an interesting size/speed combo. Meiko Dotson had a big pro day. If Thomas doesn’t go in the draft he will get a UDFA deal.
Ben: I would love to be wrong but I believe Thomas will not be drafted by any team, nor will Corbin. I think Corbin becomes the only player (outside of JJ) to make a 53-man roster in 2022. While I expect guys like Keir, Dotson and Wilson to be potential practice squad players to start their career.
Tommy: Dotson. If you want to talk about a pro day to remember, his 20+ reps on the bench were nothing short of a spectacle. When we were counting them and got the final number I almost didn’t want to tell the guys because I thought I must’ve been wrong and would be risking embarrassment. But no, that happened from a guy who really didn’t get a lot of hype going into the day. As for Wilson, I’m with AB. He’s shown enough and has the measurables to get a look at the very least on a practice squad somewhere. A contender for warm and fuzzies would be Milton but I think that’s a long shot.
Check out number four on the second play in this clip. Also, do yourself a favor and close your eyes on the first one: