It has been a brutal season for the Florida State Seminoles and the downturn began in the opening loss to Alabama. In that game, the team lost its starting quarterback in Deondre Francois but, more than that, it set an ominous tone for what has been a dreadful campaign.
In addition to the overall team downturn, though, NFL Draft pundits are starting to question star safety Derwin James, who was presumed to be a top-10 selection when draft eligible. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report even believes that James is “not the player he was hyped to be.”
Miller was not the only one critical of James’ play this season, as the Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated caught up with “an AFC college scouting director” who saw a sharp change for the worse from James’ breakout in 2015 until now.
“If he plays like he did as a freshman, yes, he belongs on that list. Right now? No way in hell . . . He’s not doing anything. And yes, they’re playing him differently. They’re trying to create for him, playing him at outside ’backer. But he’s not the same.”
James did suffer a major injury in 2016 that cost him the vast majority of the season and that could be a real issue when trying to evaluate him at this stage. Still, the notion that Derwin James is a world-beater has taken a huge hit and it seems as if much of the college football world hasn’t quite caught on just yet. Can he rebound? Absolutely, simply because James’ talent is off the charts. That is no longer a given, though, and that is something to file away.
(H/T The Spun)