Our NoleNation all-time draft included 72 of Florida State's all-time greats, but that didn't mean the decisions in the final few rounds were any easier than those first few picks. The truth is, we could've kept going for a while, and a number of fan favorites -- not to mention exceptional players -- were left off the list.
So with that in mind, we're doing our due diligence to provide a hat tip to a few Seminoles who didn't quite make the cut, whether due to stiff competition at their position or poor decision making on the part of our drafters. So here are a few of the biggest snubs from our Nole Nation draft -- and yes, we're aware that even this list will leave off a few favorites.
The top two on the list were easy, but picking a No. 3 quarterback in FSU history is a nearly impossible task. In our draft, Jeff Cameron went with Casey Weldon, but there's certainly a strong case to be made for Thad Busby, Peter Tom Willis, Danny Kanell, Gary Huff, Christian Ponder and, of course, EJ Manuel, who wrapped up his career with four bowl wins and the school record for completion percentage. And all of that doesn't even mention perhaps FSU's most successful pro QB, Brad Johnson.
Once again, the top two were easy. The rest of the list offered ample room for debate. That meant a slew of top runners were forgotten, including Amp Lee, Greg Jones and Lorenzo Booker. But perhaps the biggest oversight was at fullback, where William Floyd was among the best to play at any program, and surely deserved a spot in our draft. And if our draft needed someone to drive a Trans Am, we probably could've found room for former halfback Burt Reynolds, too.
Receiver and tight end
There's a long list of impressive receivers who have called Florida State home, many of which went on to long and successful NFL careers, including Jessie Hester, Javon Walker and Laveranues Coles. And because we were allowed to draft three receivers, only one tight end was selected, meaning major snubs for Pat Carter (71 receptions) and Ed Beckham (70 receptions).
The knock on Florida State of late has been its lack of great O-linemen, and that might have shown up a bit in our draft, where the pickings got a bit slimmer in later rounds. Still, a few names left out included Greg Futch, Jason Kuipers and Mark Salva. Perhaps most intriguing, however, are some recent Seminoles, including recent second-round NFL draft pick Menelik Watson, and current players such as Cameron Erving, Josue Matias and Tre' Jackson.
There have been tons of great pass rushers come through the program, so our draft ended up skipping past a few, like Willie Jones, who starred in the late 1970s, and Everette Brown and Brandon Jenkins, who turned in big seasons recently. Others of note: Kamerion Wimbley, Alonzo Jackson and Carl Simpson.
There's no shortage of talent in the middle of the defense at Florida State, and that includes a handful of linebackers that were left out of our draft. Aaron Carter played in the mid-1970s and is still FSU's all-time leader in tackles with 512. Tommy Polley racked up 100 tackles in each of his final two seasons at Florida State. Buster Davis racked up 26.5 tackles for loss and was a third-round NFL draft pick.
There may have been no position group more loaded, so apologies to Corey Fuller, Dexter Jackson, Antonio Cromartie, Patrick Robinson, Samari Rolle, and, of course, the great Lee Corso, who wrapped up his career at Florida State in 1956 with 14 career interceptions -- the same number Deion Sanders finished his career with.
It's too bad we didn't draft return specialists or Leon Washington, Willie Reid and Greg Reid all would've been considered. Joe Wessel and B.J. Ward had a knack for blocking kicks, too. Scott Bentley probably wasn't one of FSU's three best kickers, but he made some big kicks for FSU's first national champion. Derek Schmidt had a great career, too.