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Florida State drafts Garnet and Gold Spring Game teams

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Each team had 19 picks in the inaugural #TaggartEra draft. The first overall pick may surprise you.

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-Southern Mississippi vs Florida State Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The first Florida State spring practice under new head coach Willie Taggart has seen a culture shift in Tallahassee.

Gone are the yelling and screaming at practice, replaced by music and dancing. The tension in the air is nonexistent and both players and coaches are more lighthearted and relaxed.

This year’s Garnet and Gold spring game looks to be no different.

With one week of practice left until the spring game kicks off, the team held a draft to determine the Garnet and Gold squads for the game.

Unlike the serious and stoic NFL Draft, music was blaring and several players livestreamed the festivities on social media. With several players not participating due to injuries, the entire roster was not made available for the draft. Notable omissions from the draft included QB Deondre Francois and WR Nyqwan Murray.

The Gold team started off the draft with a surprising move, selecting redshirt senior center Corey Martinez with the first overall pick. From there, the draft proceeded in a snake fashion with the Garnet team selecting two players, Gold taking two more, etc.

The complete draft can be seen below.

2018 Garnet and Gold Spring Game Draft

Gold Team Garnet Team
Gold Team Garnet Team
OL Corey Martinez OL Derrick Kelly
OL Josh Ball OL Landon Dickerson
OL Abdul Bello DB Stanford Samuels
DL Fred Jones OL Brady Scott
DL Cory Durden QB Bailey Hockman
OL Andrew Basham LB Dontavious Jackson
LB Leonard Warner DL Janarius Robinson
OL Christian Armstrong OL Mike Arnold
DL Walvenski Aime DB Kyle Meyers
DB Jaiden Woodbey DB Levonta Taylor
WR Keith Gavin WR Tamorrion Terry
DB Cyrus Fagan DL Cedric Wood
DB A.J. Westbrook LB DeCalon Brooks
DB Isaiah Prouse-Lackey DB Hamsah Nasirildeen
TE Tre' McKitty DL Tre Lawson
RB Jacques Patrick WR Ontaria Wilson
WR Deonte Sheffield RB Cam Akers
RB Amir Rasul DL Ja'Len Parks
QB James Blackman* DL Demarcus Christmas*
DL Brian Burns* WR D.J. Matthews*
* - selected as a “free agent” before the draft

With Francois sidelined as he continues to recover from his knee injury, the spring game will feature second-year quarterbacks James Blackman and Bailey Hockman battling for their shot at the starting job.

Hockman will have the luxury of having Cam Akers in the backfield, as well as Landon Dickerson and Derrick Kelly up front to protect him. The redshirt freshman quarterback will also have D.J. Matthews and Tamorrion Terry at receiver for the Garnet team.

On the other hand, Blackman will have a pair of veteran skill players to work with in Jacques Patrick, Keith Gavin, and Amir Rasul. The Gold team will arguably feature the better defensive line as well, with blue-chip players like Fred Jones, Cory Durden, Walvenski Aime and Brian Burns.

But the most interesting person on the field will not be a player, but rather Taggart himself. How will he evaluate the quarterbacks? Will he call plays, or will he designate offensive coordinator Walt Bell to handle the offenses? Will he be a psuedo referee at times, much like Jimbo Fisher did, in order to put his players in difficult situations?

We will have to wait until the spring game on April 14th to find out.