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Florida State football's true defensive depth chart

Florida State released its depth chart Monday and as seemingly happens on a yearly basis, it caused a bit of a stir, particularly on the defensive side.

Florida State's depth chart is accurate for the alignment shown: the 3-4 defense. This is technically FSU's base defense, and it is how it did the depth chart last year as well.

However, Florida State rarely has to play that defense, and it'll be used sparingly during the first two months of the season.


FSU runs its 3-4 defense against two-back offenses, and its 4-2-5 defense against offenses using three or more receivers. Only one team (Syracuse) on the schedule before Halloween will be playing a majority two-back offense.

FSU has been practicing a ton of its 4-2-5 look, and not very much of the 3-4 look. It is expected to practice more 3-4 later in the year as those two-back teams get closer on the schedule.

So while

DE Derrick Mitchell
NG Nile Lawrence-Stample
DE Eddie Goldman
OLB Mario Edwards, Jr.
OLB Chris Casher
ILB Reggie Northrup OR E.J. Levenberry
ILB Terrance Smith
CB Ronald Darby
CB P.J. Williams
SS Tyler Hunter
FS Jalen Ramsey

is correct, the lineup FSU fans can expect to see the most is this 4-2-5 lineup

DE Mario Edwards, Jr.
NG Nile Lawrence-Stample
DT Eddie Goldman
DE Chris Casher
LB Reggie Northrup OR E.J. Levenberry
LB Terrance Smith
CB Ronald Darby
CB P.J. Williams
SS Tyler Hunter
FS Nate Andrews
Star Jalen Ramsey

The difference in size in the front seven from the 3-4 to the 4-2-5 is pretty noticeable, with the 3-4 alignment checking in at a stunning 1940 combined pounds, and the 4-2-5 coming in at around 1840.

Still, FSU has tremendous size across the board in almost any set it wants to play.