First-year players ended up taking on fairly substantial roles for Florida State in 2018.
A new coaching staff and a new scheme opened up playing time for newcomers. And while the transition came with some bumps in the road, it appears that FSU has a solid foundation to work with on defense. Some, like Jaiden Woodbey, earned significant roles early in the year while others saw playing time gradually increase throughout the season. In all, FSU played 10 freshmen on defense and six received above average grades and nine were in the replacement-level range (meaning they were average or better compared to other defenders across the country). It’s encouraging start as long as there’s gradual growth in the coming years.
Pro Football Focus provided Noles247 with grades for each FSU freshman (true and redshirt) defender from the 2018 season. Below are grades and some key metrics of note for the rookie defenders. PFF Grades are on a scale of 0-100. Anything in the 90s represents an elite performer, 60-70 is replacement level, and less than 60 gets into the below average range.