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Predicting FSU’s Depth Chart After Spring: Defense

Florida State’s spring football game was a success this past Saturday in Orlando (FL), wrapping up spring camp by putting on a show for fans who were able to make the trip.

Those in attendance were able to catch a glimpse of things to come – a young potential starter at quarterback, exciting play at the wide receiver position and a defense that will wreak havoc throughout the 2016 college football season.

On defense, the Seminoles have to replace projected first round NFL Draft pick Jalen Ramsey, along with several other talented defenders. But one of the most talented rosters in all of college football will help ease that transition. Who will replace Ramsey? Who will replace long-time starter Terrance Smith at linebacker? These are all questions that need to be answered. 

Here's our post-spring depth chart for FSU's defense. 

Defensive Tackle ??? >>>

Defensive tackle

Projected starters:Derrick Nnadi, Demarcus Christmas
Backups: Arthur Williams, Fred Jones

Florida State is in terrific shape at defensive tackle despite losing long-time starter Nile Lawrence-Stample. Nnadi started every game for the Seminoles last season and was fantastic. Quick hands and excellent all-around technique will allow him to be the leader of the interior this time around. Christmas, who started just one game for the 'Noles in 2015, has tons of upside. A big, strong bull rusher, he'll create plenty of space for linebacker to work. 

">April 9, 2016

FSU fans can sleep soundly knowing the interior of the line will be secure.Defensive End ??? >>>Defensive endProjected starters: DeMarcus Walker, Josh SweatBackups: Jacob Pugh, Janarius RobinsonThe Seminoles will enter the 2016 college football season with one of the more impressive defensive-end duos in all of college football, but depth could be an issue. Walker, who decided to pass up the NFL Draft and return for his senior season, will be one of the most important leaders for FSU this season as he looks to get his 'Noles back to the title game and improve his draft stock at the same time. Sweat, on the other hand, is a youngster with a ridiculously high ceiling. If his spring game performance said anything, it was that Sweat is going to have a monster year. 

">April 2, 2016

FSU fans will be hoping for these ends to stay healthy, though. Depth is an issue. According to Jimbo Fisher, Lorenzo Featherston's career may be over due to injury. And both Pugh and Robinson missed (all of parts of) spring with injury.

Linebacker ??? >>>

Linebacker

Projected starters: Ro'Derrick Hoskins, Matthew Thomas
Backups: Tyrell Lyons, Sh'mar Kirby-Lane

The biggest question surrounding FSU's linebacking corps is whether or not Thomas can stay on the field throughout the entire season. With injury and trouble keeping him sidelined at times during his career in Tallahassee, Thomas happens to be one of the more talented players on the entire roster. Hoskins is talented in his own right and did a fantastic job in the six games he started for the Seminoles last year. And even though he missed the spring with an injury, Lyons will be a familiar face. 

">April 6, 2016

FSU has more depth at the linebacker position than it's had in quite some time. They should be just fine.Cornerback ??? >>>CornerbackProjected starters: Marquez White, Marcus LewisBackups: Tarvarus McFadden, Malique JacksonFlorida State has one of the most talented secondaries in all of college football, and for a team that basically runs a base-nickel package, the Seminoles have the ammunition to throw a number of combo packages on the field each and every down. With White returner, the 'Noles have a lengthy, athletic corner with terrific ball skills. On the other side, whether FSU goes with Lewis or McFadden in the end, the 'Noles have a guy that loves to play physical in the press. 

">April 11, 2016

FSU has zero worries at this position, even after losing a player like Jalen Ramsey. 

Star ??? >>>

Star

Projected starter: Trey Marshall
Backup: Lewis

The star position, a safety-linebacker hybrid, was practically built for a talent like Trey Marshall, and Florida State won't hesitate to use him in a number of ways. Marshall is fast, physical and has tremendous instincts on the football field. The last two players to play - and succeed - at this position were Jalen Ramsey and Lamarcus Joyner. That's what they look for at this position, and that's what they have in Marshall. 

">March 3, 2016

This is possibly the most exciting position to play, with a number of assignments each and every down. FSU fans should be excited to see a healthy Marshall in action this season.

Safety ??? >>>

Safety

Projected starters: Derwin James, Nate Andrews
Backups: A.J. Westbrook, Calvin Brewton

Derwin James may very well be the biggest freak on Florida State's roster. A torpedo on the field, he hits to eliminate. After starting eight games for the Seminoles last season, it may be hard to think of somebody that FSU fans are more excited to see on defense than James. If you're wondering who'll replace Ramsey's fire, you officially have your answer. Andrews, while not as much of a force, plays with tremendous instinct and is best suited in the dime package. 

Just like star and corner, FSU's secondary is loaded with talented, versatile players that can play several positions. They should be fun to watch in 2016.

See Where We Have Jalen Ramsey Going In Our Latest Mock Draft >>>