FSU football lost their leading receiver from the 2016 season when Travis Rudolph announced he was declaring for the NFL Draft this April.
Every year, college football teams hold their breaths when it comes to finding out how many underclassman will declare for the NFL Draft. FSU football was no exception, watching as one of the best players in school history, running back Dalvin Cook, decided to turn pro – along with one of the top lineman in the ACC, Roderick Johnson.
That number got bumped up by one on Thursday with the news that wide receiver Travis Rudolph, who led the Seminoles in receiving yards this season, decided that he would forgo his senior season with the ‘Noles and test the NFL waters. The West Palm Beach native was thought to be heading that way, but some thought he may have a last minute change of heart.
Rudolph’s decision, like that of many others, has its pros and cons – so lets take a look at both for the player and for FSU football.
Pros of Rudolph Leaving
For the player, it was almost a no brainer that this was the decision to make. Rudolph finished slightly under his total for yards from 2015 (going from 916 to 840) but finished the year with the same number of touchdowns (seven) and almost the same yards per catch average (15.5 last year to 15 this year).
In addition, the media exposure he got from the start of the year – when he made national headlines by befriending an autistic student during a middle school visit – is very attractive to some front office personnel in the NFL who love knowing they can get a good player who won’t be an off field problem.
As for FSU football, it takes away one question about how the ‘Noles will keep their stable of receivers happy in 2017 when it comes to getting the ball. The move means that Nyqwan Murray and Auden Tate, if healthy, will be the starters next season – with players like Keith Gavin, Da’Vante Phillips and incoming star D.J. Matthews getting more exposure.
Cons of Rudolph Leaving
For Travis, he will be looking to be drafted in a 2017 class that – to this point – is looking to be very receiver heavy with talented players. We all know that he is a great player, but Rudolph is setting himself up to get buried on the list of mock drafts and scouting forms because of who else is coming out.
While some questions have been answered for the FSU football team regarding who will likely start the 2017 opener against Alabama, there is no doubt that the team – and quarterback Deondre Francois – are losing a stable leader at the receiver position who helped calm things down this season.