Florida State’s Braden Fiske motivated by ‘huge impact’ leading up to NFL Draft

Florida State defensive lineman Braden Fiske has traveled a path from Western Michigan to the doorstep of the NFL.

Fiske commanded the attention of the football world at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. He posted a 4.78-second time in the 40-yard dash, fastest among defensive tackles, and led the position group with jumps of 33.5 inches on the vertical and 9-foot-9-inches on the broad as well as 4.37-second time on the shuttle.

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After Florida State held its Pro Day on March 20, Fiske recalled running the 40 and the moment he knew he impressed the onlookers around him.

“So they show the broadcast up on like one of the big screens there, but at the bottom it’s cut out, so you don’t see like the time,” Fiske said. “You can tell by reactions that fans when they’re clapping, I was like, ‘Alright, that must have been decent,’ then you run it back and like Reggie Wayne is standing there on the side and he’s looking at me like, ‘Oh, who is this guy?’ You get back and all the guys are running too, like, the scouts over there, they’re like, ‘Yo, that was fast.’ I’m like, ‘Bet.’”

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The Michigan City, Indiana, native spent five seasons with the Broncos. He earned a spot on the Second Team All-Mid-American Conference after recording career highs of six sacks and 58 tackles including 12 for loss in 2022.

Fiske entered the transfer portal and found a new home with head coach Mike Norvell and Florida State, and he fit well along the defensive line leading the Seminoles to an Atlantic Coast Conference Championship featuring a 13-0 record and appearance in the Orange Bowl.

Standing 6-foot-5 and 297 pounds, Fiske offers intrigue for any pro team looking for a playmaker on the inside, and he wants the NFL to know he’s honing his skills and remaining disciplined in his approach to the start of his professional career.

“I think it’s just one of those things you don’t know till you see it in person,” Fiske said. “I mean, I think a lot of the traits in my game are something you got to see up close and personal. It’s not something you just watch on film all the time, and you can really see the way I attack practice, the film room, the training room. And I think those are the things that once NFL teams got to get more of an up close and personal look at the Senior Bowl, the combine. That’s what they got to see, then the testing numbers and the practice habits at the Senior Bowl just kind of backed all that up.”

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The combine boosted Fiske up draft boards, and according to Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com’s top 50 2024 NFL Draft prospect rankings, he ranks No. 38 among draft-eligible prospects.

Fiske compared his draft positioning before the Seminoles went on their run toward a conference title and he took part in postseason events like the combine and Senior Bowl, and he knows he’s opened the eyes of some within NFL teams. As he continues toward the end of the month and the draft, Fiske said he’s eager to get started on his pro journey.

“My draft stock was, I mean, realistically, looking like a fourth, fifth, you know, maybe, and it’s wishy-washy,” Fiske said. “But I think after the ACC championship, Senior Bowl, combine, I think I helped myself quite a bit. I mean, it’s looking good. I can’t put an exact number on it. But I mean, it definitely, definitely made a huge impact on where we’re going to take this guy.”