clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FSU Football: Who are the ten best players FSU will face in 2016?

Florida State could be facing the top pick in next year’s NFL draft.

Florida State faces a tough slate of opponents this year.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This year, Florida State will face Heisman candidates, a possible number one pick in the NFL Draft, and numerous potential first-round picks. And that’s just from one team.

The schedule is packed with established stars and future studs. Let's break down the top ten players FSU will face this year in football. This list is not a ranking, but the players are instead listed in the order that Florida State will face them chronologically.

1. Chad Kelly. Quarterback, Ole Miss.

Game Date - September 5th.

The first challenge for Florida State will be in the season opener, as Chad Kelly will look to start his senior season off with a win against a top-ten team. Kelly accounted for over 4,000 total yards last year and is dangerous with both his arm and legs.

2. Lamar Jackson. Quarterback, Louisville.

Game Date - September 17th.

In his collegiate career at Virginia Tech, Michael Vick rushed and passed for over 100 yards in the same game on three separate occasions. Jackson did it five times during his freshman year in 2015. With a better offensive line this year, Jackson should cut down on his sacks (25) and interceptions (8). He will look to lead the dark horse Cardinals to an early signature win.

3. Devonte Fields. Linebacker/Defensive End, Louisville.

Game Date - September 17th.

Fields began last year slow for the Cardinals, but the second half of the season was a different story. He ended the season with 22.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks (5.5 in the final 2 games of the 2015 season). He'll be looking to move himself into the first round of next year's draft.

4. Marlon Mack. Running Back, South Florida.

Game Date - September 24th.

Mack has rushed for over 1,000 yards in two straight seasons. He had a pretty successful game last year against FSU, averaging over four yards per carry. There's a chance he will be trying to break the USF school rushing record in this game, as he is a little over 300 yards shy at the start of the season.

5. Brad Kaaya. Quarterback, Miami.

Game Date - October 8th.

Whereas the other quarterbacks on this list have the potential to hurt you with their legs, Kaaya is known solely for his arm. And it's a pretty good one. The Miami signal-caller threw for over 400 yards last year against FSU. If he enters the draft next year (Kaaya is a junior), he has been predicted as high as a top-five pick.

6. DeShaun Watson. Quarterback, Clemson.

Game Date - October 29th.

Potential Heisman winner. Potential Number one pick in the draft. Those are just some of the possible accolades of the Clemson quarterback. Watson is a playmaker who keeps plays alive with his legs. He's looking to lead the Tigers back to a National Title game with the ‘Noles being one of the biggest hurdles.

7. Christian Wilkins. Defensive Tackle, Clemson.

Game Date - October 29th.

As a true freshman, Wilkins was a monster in the interior line. He tallied 84 tackles and 4.5 sacks and established himself as an anchor on one of the top defenses in the nation. He'll prove to be a challenge for the Seminoles' offensive line.

8. Wayne Gallman. Running Back, Clemson.

Game Date - October 29th.

Just how good was the Clemson running back last year? He broke C.J. Spiller’s yards-from-scrimmage record, with 1,740 total yards. Gallman is a tough runner and is hard to bring down. If FSU wants to try and knock off the Tigers, the defense will have to be ready for Gallman the entire game. His fourth-quarter touchdown run last year was the nail in the coffin for Florida State.

9. Jalen Tabor. Cornerback, Florida

Game Date - November 26th.

Tabor is looking to follow in Vernon Hargreaves’ footsteps and get drafted in the first round of next year's draft. Tabor has great size and is dangerous around the ball, returning two interceptions for touchdowns last year. He could raise his profile with a great game against FSU to end the regular season.

10. Jarrad Davis. Linebacker, Florida

Game Date - November 26th.

In the game last year against Florida State, the number 40 was all over the field, ending the game with 9 tackles. He finished his junior year with 98 tackles. Davis has great length, speed, and hits hard. He will once again be leading the Florida defense in the regular-season finale.

Which player do you think has the biggest game against FSU this year? Let everyone know in the comments section below.