Florida State Seminoles running back Devonta Freeman had an excellent 2013 campaign, and he played a huge role in the university’s BCS Championship victory and their wins on the road to the championship. The 5’9″, 209 pound back had a whopping 1,016 yards and 14 touchdowns on just 173 carries to lead the team, and he and James Wilder Jr. helped give the ‘Noles an extremely balanced, dangerous offense. Freeman also added 22 receptions to boot, and there’s little doubt in my mind that he’s a solid 2014 NFL Draft prospect.
The NFL Network’s Mike Silver reports that Freeman will declare for the NFL Draft on Monday, and it’s a decision that definitely comes as a surprise. There were always rumblings that Freeman would declare, but he seemed to be on the fence enough that it would be a toss-up. But once FSU won the championship, more rumors spread that Freeman would declare, especially after fellow star ‘Noles players such as Kelvin Benjamin and Timmy Jernigan decided to declare.
Freeman is now among the Florida State players declaring for the draft, and it will be interesting to see how he is evaluated in the pre-draft process. He’s been deciding on the draft for quite some time now, and his decision to declare definitely isn’t a surprise. Honestly, it would have been unwise to stay in school, because the Florida State backfield is deep, Freeman has accomplished just about everything he could have, and he’s as pro-ready as it gets due to his all-around game (pass protection won’t be an issue for him in the pros).
Miami Hurricanes tight end Clive Walford had a solid season with 34 receptions for 454 yards and two touchdowns, but I don’t think he’s shown the kind of improvement that he needed to in his redshirt junior season. Walford has been carefully mulling his decision, and his decision was set for after the Russell Athletic bowl game against Louisville.
Walford’s decision was one that I was interested in seeing, and he announced via the university that he will return for his senior year. It would have been very unwise for Walford to declare, because he is a guy who could have a big senior year. He’ll need to have a big senior year, too, if he wants his draft stock to match his talent, because Walford certainly has talent. He’s a solid pass-catching TE who does a great job of moving the chains and making plays in the red zone, but he isn’t consistent enough. That’s worrisome, since Walford needs to be able to base his game off of consistency. With this year’s deep crop of TEs, it would have been a bad idea for Walford to declare, so it’s great to hear that he is staying with Miami for his final year.