FSU in the 2020 NFL Draft: Some Perspective

David Visser

At first glance, Florida State's showing in the 2020 NFL Draft appears to have been a disappointment. Only one Seminole was selected, running back Cam Akers, although several others have already signed with NFL teams as free agents. But a broader look at the Draft, with some historical context, reveals that this may just portend big things on the horizon for the program. 

The last time only one 'Nole was drafted was 2009, when the Carolina Panthers chose defensive end Everette Brown in the second round. The program was in transition, finishing not only what has come to be known as "the lost decade" of FSU football, but also the legendary career of head coach Bobby Bowden. 

In 2010, Jimbo Fisher took over the program-- and led it back to the mountaintop. Just three years later, the Seminoles regained their place at the pinnacle of the college football universe, winning their third national title. The 'Noles won the ACC from 2012-2014, a span of years that also saw FSU win 29 consecutive games. 

Before that, you have to go back to 1987 to find a year in which just a lone Florida State player heard his named called. That's when the New York Jets selected nose tackle Gerald Nichols in the seventh round. 

That was also the year that began an incredible 14-season run for the Seminoles, one that is unlikely to ever be matched: from 1987-2000, FSU finished every season ranked in the top five of the AP Poll.

And just like Fisher resurrected the program beginning in 2010, so now will new coach Mike Norvell attempt the same feat. Time will tell if he succeeds-- but history seems to be on his side. Even though the relationship between FSU's humbler years in the draft and what follows aren't necessarily a causal relationship, they may serve as an illustration of the old adage that it's darkest before the dawn. 

Comments (1)
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Shawn Allen
Shawn Allen

Most programs ebb and flow like this to some degree. My bigger concern is if FSU gets passed by the big money programs and can’t recover as the landscape in CFB changes.