NFL Draft Day 3: Johnson To Cleveland, White To Dallas
By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The pipeline of Florida State defensive backs to the NFL is still strong.
The Dallas Cowboys on Saturday selected Florida State cornerback Marquez White with the 33rd pick of the sixth round (216 overall) in the 2017 NFL draft, making him the fourth Seminole to be drafted and continuing a streak of at least one FSU defensive back picked in every year since 2012.
A two-year starter for the Seminoles, White broke the news himself by tweeting “How bout them Cowboys!!!!” just moments before the pick was announced.
“He will be a great addition to the Dallas Cowboys," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Marquez was a standout player for us as a two-year starter and a leader on our defense. He's a very athletic guy with an outstanding work ethic which will give him the opportunity to be a great pro."
On the field, White earned a reputation as one of the top cornerbacks in the ACC by having twice as many career interceptions (four) as touchdown passes allowed (two).
Off the field, White garnered recognition across college football for creating and producing the “A Different Way Out” football camp for children in his hometown of Dothan, Ala.
White talked to more than a dozen teams leading up to the draft, but, incidentally, said Saturday that he had no contact with the Cowboys.
White is the eighth FSU defensive back to be drafted since coach Jimbo Fisher took over in 2011, joining Jalen Ramsey (2016), Ronald Darby (2015), P.J. Williams (2015), Lamarcus Joyner (2014), Terrence Brooks (2014), Xavier Rhodes (2013) and Mike Harris (2012).
He is also the 22nd member of FSU's 2013 national championship team to be drafted, and the sixth defensive back.
Dallas has a long history of drafting Seminoles. The Cowboys' 12 selectons from FSU are among the most in the league, although White is the first since safety Pat Watkins in 2006.
Seminoles drafted by the Dallas Cowboys
2017: Marquez White, CB (6th round, 216th overall)
2006: Pat Watkins, S (5th round, 138th overall)
2001: Char-ron Dorsey, OL (7th round, 242nd overall)
2000: Mario Edwards, CB (6th round, 180th overall)
1996: Clay Shiver, OL (3rd round, 67th overall)
1994: Toddrick McIntosh, DT (7th round, 216th overall)
1986: John Ionata, (9th round, 242nd overall)
1986: Garth Jax, LB (11th round, 296th overall)
1982: Mike Whiting (11th round, 304th overall)
1981: Paul Piurowski (8th round, 218th overall)
1980: Jackie Flowers (9th round, 246th overall)
1972: Dick Amman (10th round, 260th overall)
Browns trade up to pick Johnson
Roderick Johnson's collegiate career began in 2014, when Cameron Erving switched from left tackle to center and opened a door for Johnson to join the Florida State offensive line.
Perhaps it's only appropriate that Johnson and Erving continue their story together in the NFL.
The Cleveland Browns on Saturday selected Johnson with 16th pick of the fifth round (160th overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. They traded up from pick No. 181 to select him.
In Cleveland, Johnson will be reunited with former teammate Erving, who the Browns drafted in the first round of the 2015 draft.
“When I first came to Florida State, Cam was one of the first guys to greet me," Johnson said. "He took me under his wings and showed me the ropes. I'm looking forward to him doing the same thing. I know he will.”
Johnson, a two-time recipient of the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy, is the third Seminole drafted this year and ninth FSU lineman drafted since coach Jimbo Fisher took over in 2010.
“Rod was an outstanding player for us, and an even better person,” Fisher said. “He has a chance to be a great NFL player as he continues to improve. I'm excited to watch him play alongside Cam Erving again in Cleveland.”
Johnson became a household name among Florida State fans midway through the 2014 season when, as a true freshman, he made a surprise first start in the Seminoles' game at rival Miami.
FSU rallied to beat the Hurricanes, 30-26, and Johnson was a mainstay at left tackle for the rest of his career.
Johnson protected three different quarterbacks during his FSU tenure, including Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston and current FSU QB Deondre Francois.
He also helped pave the way for Dalvin Cook to become Florida State's all-time leader in both single-season and career rushing.
Johnson's scouting profile on NFL.com says that he has “telephone poles for arms,” and that he “can finish with authority once he latches into the defender's frame and gets momentum churned up.”
Johnson is the 13th Seminole to be drafted by the Browns and first since Erving in 2015.
Seminoles drafted by the Cleveland Browns
2017: Roderick Johnson, OL (5th round, 160th overall)
2015: Cameron Erving, OL (1st round, 19th overall)
2006: Kamerion Wimbley, OL (1st round, 13th overall)
1993: Dan Footman, DL (2nd round, 42nd overall)
1985: Greg Allen, RB (2nd round, 35th overall)
1981: Ron Simmons, DT (6th round, 160th overall)
1969: Chip Glass, TE (3rd round, 72nd overall)
1969: Walt Sumner, DB (7th round, 176th overall)
1968: Wayne McDuffie, C (17th round, 455th overall)
1955: Bill Proctor, OL (20th round, 241st overall)
1952: Ray Thompson (12th round, 144th overall)
1951: Wayne Benner (24th round, 291st overall)
1951: Bill Driver (29th round, 351st overall)