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FSU boasts bounty of potential NFL talent

Florida State University Quarterback Jameis Winston goes over workout drills with his teammates during his pro day. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
Florida State University Quarterback Jameis Winston goes over workout drills with his teammates during his pro day. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Apr. 1, 2015

TALLAHASSEE — On a day where the spotlight was fixed on Florida State QB Jameis Winston, his supporting cast showed why up to four other Seminoles could be taken in the first round of this month's NFL draft.

"I wanted to go out and compete, and I felt like we all did that," said OL Cameron Erving, who snapped to Winston during a choreographed workout of 100-plus pass plays during pro day at FSU's indoor practice facility.

Erving, who started at left tackle and center, is a likely first-round pick, as is DT Eddie Goldman. DBs P.J. Williams and Ronald Darby made their case to join them in the opening round.

"It's improving on things with drills, letting them see my hips and how I come out of breaks, and with the 40, running faster," said Williams, who said he had a private workout with Bucs cornerbacks coach Gill Byrd.

Eighteen Seminoles have been drafted over the past two years. If 11 are selected this year, FSU would set the modern record with the most players chosen during a three-year span — a point coach Jimbo Fisher made several times Tuesday.

"That's the culmination of your organization, your program," Fisher said. "That's a lot of the dreams they have here, too, not only graduate but also go to the NFL. It's our job to develop it within a system that still wins games. To me, that's what a program does."

Fisher said his program's depth helped fuel the hoopla of a pro day that featured the potential No. 1 overall pick.

DUO REUNITED? WR Rashad Greene has two simple pieces of advice for the Bucs:

"You pick Jameis, first of all," Greene said. "If I'm still up, you pick me. Keep that duo going. That would definitely be a smart move for them, as far as their organization and football as well."

Greene quietly put together one of the best careers in ACC history at FSU. The 6-foot, 180-pounder is the Seminoles' all-time leader in catches (270) and yards (3,830) and caught 29 touchdowns over his four-year career.

Greene, a potential second-day pick, said he has tried to improve his strength, quickness and route running. He said he has a visit scheduled with the Eagles and will join Winston when he works out with the Bucs in Tallahassee next week. Greene said one team told him his pro day went so well that he won't need to visit later.

"He's like Derek Jeter," Fisher said. "He doesn't need fanfare, doesn't need media, but every big moment he makes a play."

CONNOLLY VISIT: The Bucs will bring in Patriots G Dan Connolly for a visit this week, potentially reuniting him with former offensive line teammate Logan Mankins. Connolly, 32, has started 67 games in the past five seasons with the Patriots, and would give another experienced starter to a line that is expected to add a starter in the opening rounds of the draft.

LOCAL WATCH: Two Hillsborough County products — RB Will Burnham (Newsome High) and WR Christian Green (Tampa Catholic) — participated Tuesday. "It went well …" said Green, a former high school quarterback who caught 48 passes during his career at FSU. "It's a full day's work."

THIS AND THAT: RB Karlos Williams Sr., a former safety, showed versatility by running routes with Winston. He said he has another meeting scheduled with the Bills. "Hopefully the second goes well, like the first one did, and I have a home," Williams said. … Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier chatted with DE Mario Edwards Jr., a possible second-day pick.

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes. Contact Greg Auman at gauman@tampabay.com. Follow @GregAuman.