Florida State fans were disappointed over the weekend when only one former Seminole, defensive end Jermaine Johnson, was selected during the course of the 2022 NFL Draft. Johnson went off the board in the first round but he slipped a lot further than the majority of analysts expected coming into Thursday. There were reports he could go as high as No. 4 to the New York Jets before the franchise eventually traded back into the first round to nab Johnson one pick prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming onto the clock.
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The hope was that running back Jashaun Corbin and defensive end Keir Thomas would be drafted in the later rounds but that didn’t come to fruition, meaning the Seminoles had just one player selected for the second time in three years. However, Florida State wasn’t alone in its misfortune.
The state of Florida holds seven FBS programs; Florida State, Florida, Miami, UCF, FAU, USF, and FIU. In total, the schools produced a combined six draft picks. The Seminoles, Hurricanes, and Knights had one player selected each while the Gators had a state-high three former players get drafted.
Even more incredulously, only three of those six players drafted from the collection of schools went in the top-100 selections; Florida defensive back Kaiir Elam (No. 23 overall), Johnson (No. 26 overall), and Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter (No. 95 overall). FAU, FIU, and USF combined for a whopping zero draft picks.
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This trend is slightly concerning after 23 players from state schools were drafted in 2021. That means the programs in Florida produced just 25% of the number of NFL Draft picks in 2022 as they did a season ago.
Talent continues to leave the state for powerhouse programs across the country like Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC. 13 of the top 20 players from Florida in the 2022 class signed with schools outside of the state. That number stays in line with 2021, where 15 of the top 20 players in the state signed with other schools.
There are only three ways for Florida State, Miami, Florida, UCF, and others to flip the script moving forward. That’s by consistently stacking winning seasons together, coaching stability, and having a competitive NIL structure.
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