Sooners in the NFL Draft

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Despite Oklahoma making the national championship and graduating/losing 9 starters, and 6 backups, none of them are really projected as a first round pick right now (per ESPN). this is pretty shocking, especially with the talented offensive line that OU had. Before the season ended, many people thought that Phil Loadholt or Duke Robinson might be able to sneak into the first round. Anyways, we're going to examine some guys here and give a little capsule on what each might expect in the draft. Enjoy!

Duke Robinson - OG

6'5" 329, 40 Time: 5.32 sec, 225lb Bench Reps: 20, Vertical Jump: 31.5", Broad Jump: 8'3", 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.90 sec, 3-cone: 8.09 sec. (Most of those are OU Pro Day results)

Duke is widely regarded as the top guard on the board. He will probably be the first guard off the board. He didn't do a whole lot other than the 40 at the combine (perhaps he hurt his stock a little there), but his measurables at the pro day all looked pretty good and most of the NFL teams had scouts there. And at the pro day, all the scouts loved his build. He projects as one of the top interior linemen in the draft and will probably work best on a team that has a power rushing attack. No doubt he'll get drafted. If all the teams pass on him for one round, expect him to go in the first 5-7 picks in the second round. "During his last two seasons, Robinson had 229 knockdown blocks and had a key block on 29 touchdowns" --NFL Draft Scout. I don't know if he'll be a pro bowler, but I expect him to be successful in the NFL.

Phil Loadholt - OT

6'8" 332, 40 Time: 5.45 sec, 225lb Bench Reps: 26, Vertical Jump: 29", Broad Jump: 8'9", 20 Yard Shuttle: 5.06 sec, 3-cone: 8.18 sec. (Most of those are OU Pro Day results)

Phil Loadholt has the size to have a huge impact as an offensive tackle in the NFL. He probably projects to a right tackle, but is a bit too tall for guard. The Bears and the Vikings have expressed interest in Loadholt already. Despite extremely long arms he had 26 bench press reps which is great. He's a better run blocker than pass blocker. "He has the size, strength, and flexibility to be a dominant drive blocker in the running game. He had pass blocking challenges at the Senior Bowl that validated concerns about his ability to stay at left tackle in the NFL" --NFL Draft Scout. Look for Loadholt to perhaps move to right tackle to fit in at the NFL. Given the pass blocking concerns he might drop to mid to late 2nd round. Anything after the 40-45th pick I would consider a steal though.

Juaquin Iglesias - WR

6'1" 210, 40 Time: 4.50 sec, 225lb Bench Reps: DNP, Vertical Jump: 34.5", Broad Jump: 9'8", 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.40 sec, 3-cone: 7.22 sec. (Most of those are Combine results)

Depending on how the draft is going, I would expect Iglesias to go somewhere in the 2nd to 3rd round. For being a "hands guy" who should be reliable to catch just about anything, he has a decent amount of speed. I think his fastest 40 time was in the neighborhood of 4.45. Overall he has good measurables. In pads he has a surprising quickness and he has a feel for getting open in the coverages (just ask Sam Bradford). At the OU pro day he dropped his first pass and his last pass but caught everything in between. NFL Draft Scout said it was "like watching Velcro". In any event, I think Iglesias could be one of those guys who is never an elite NFL receiver but a solid guy who catches a few passes a game for decent yardage and would be a good threat out of the slot.

Nic Harris S/OLB

6'3" 234, 40 Time: 4.84 sec, 225lb Bench Reps: 15, Vertical Jump: 31.5", Broad Jump: 9'1", 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.37 sec, 3-cone: 7.05 sec. (Most of those are Combine results)

Nic Harris is a great athlete, but he's one of those guys that it may be difficult to find a position for in the NFL. At safety, he is a bit too big. He's very fluid in coverage but may not be able to keep up with the speed at the NFL level. At linebacker, he's a bit undersized and might not be able to fight off blocks or work too well close to the line. So, he's kind of a tweener. It's a shame, because I think he has the athleticism and talent to make a big impact. If the right team with the right scheme drafts him, he might work out okay. I think he'd work better in a 4-3 defense, but could work in some sort of hybrid 3-3-5 defense where he can slide down to LB to make it a 3-4 in running situations. Gil Brandt from NFL.com raved that his backpedal was just about as fast as his 40, so it would be a shame to waste his coverage skills. He's projected in the 5th round right now.

Those are the guys who are projected to be definitely drafted. Here's how the rest shake out:

Possible Late Round (7th) or Free Agent:

  • Brandon Walker, OG: Don't know all that much about Brandon, other than that there's a lot of guys who are projected ahead of him. I don't think he really separated from the pack at pro day or the combine. I don't think he'll go in the draft, but could get invited to a camp.
  • Branndon Braxton, OT: See Brandon Walker.
  • Jon Cooper, C: He's a really talented player. Some may say he's a bit undersized for the NFL but he weighed in at 290. He quarterbacked OU's amazing offensive line and I think he could actually surprise in the NFL. Could be a steal as a 7th rounder or a camp invitee.
  • Manuel Johnson, WR: He's smaller at 5'11" and only about 190 so that immediately raises some flags for NFL scouts. He doesn't have a great 40 time and he only really broke out last year with solid stats. Despite all that, he's a solid receiver with good game speed, agility and fluidity and reliable hands. It's possible he'll go late in the draft depending on how quickly receivers go earlier on.
  • Lendy Holmes, FS: He hurt himself with a 40 time around 4.7. Unlike Harris, he doesn't have the size to be a tweener at linebacker. His 40 time is disappointing since I always considered him as faster than that. Still, he's been a playmaker during his time at OU and started out as a corner. His coverage skills and talent might be able to overcome some scouts who will frown on some of his combine measurables.
  • Mike Knall, P: Overall he was a solid punter in his time at OU but never did anything really special to make you say, "well that guy could play in the NFL". Punters aren't a dime a dozen so even if he isn't drafted he could get an invite to a camp.
  • Quentin Chaney, WR: He's got the size at 6-4 208. However he got way less playing time than Johnson or Iglesias. I don't think he'll be drafted but because of his size and his pedigree (OU), I could see him getting invited to a camp.
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