After sitting through the entire first round of the 2013 NFL draft on Thursday night without hearing their names called, the two remaining Seminoles who had first-round aspirations didn’t have to wait long to get drafted in the second round Friday night.
Defensive end Cornellius Carradine and offensive tackle Menelik Watson will call the California Bay area home.
Carradine was selected with the 8th pick of the second round, 40th overall, by the San Francisco 49ers.
The 6-5, 255-pound end was a no-brainer for the first round this past November, but a torn ACL suffered in the Seminoles’ regular-season finale sent his draft stock plummeting. But as he had already done once during the 2012 college season, Carradine climbed up draft boards again in the months following Florida State’s Orange Bowl victory of Northern Illinois.
Originally a JuCo transfer, Carradine credits the time he spent recording 26 sacks at Butler Community College for helping him mature and learn to focus.
At FSU Carradine recorded 5.5 sacks as a junior reserve before an injury to Brandon Jenkins gave him a chance to start as a senior. He earned first-team All-ACC honors, recording 11 sacks and leading the team in tackles until his injury against the Gators.
The 49ers hope he will pair well with Aldon Smith and form one of the most dangerous pass-rushing duos in the league.
Manchester-born tackle Watson is headed to the other side of the bridge. Oakland selected him two picks later at 42.
Watson is raw, having played less than 20 games of football in his entire life. But he might have the highest ceiling of any offensive tackle in the draft. Originally a basketball player, Watson enrolled at Marist before switching sports and transferring to a junior college.
After just a handful of games he was fielding offers from the top programs in the country. He chose Florida State, where he started at right tackle and earned honorable mention All-ACC honors in his only season of college football.
Watson, was so impoverished growing up in England that at times he was forced to eat butter and drink ketchup just to fill his stomach. He left Florida State early to help support his family.
Watson should challenge for a starting job with the Raiders offense immediately.
Carradine, who practiced against Watson every day at FSU, called him beyond brutal and said anyone who can’t avoid the force of his initial punch off the snap is likely to get manhandled.
Carradine has a reputation for abusing whoever lines up in front of him. At FSU, his nickname, Tank, wasn’t descriptive enough of the strength and violence with which he plays.