Oklahoma set the bar high last in last year's NFL draft with the best first round representation to date. Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams and Jermaine Gresham all made the first round enjoyable for Oklahoma football fans to watch. Unfortunately we shouldn't expect the same results in this year's draft. The Sooners in this year's draft just don't have that "Super Star" appeal about them and the youth of Oklahoma's team means there isn't as many players draft eligible. That's not to say there aren't players available and that they won't be selected. Oklahoma will put players into this year's NFL Draft and they are guys who have the opportunity for a long and successful career. Here's a look at where I believe they'll be selected.
Demarco Murray to the Atlanta Falcons - The 2011 NFL draft isn't going to be too kind to running backs. I expect Murray to be the first Oklahoma player selected but it won't be until the third round. Atlanta needs depth at the running back position and Murray's skill set of running, blocking and receiving makes for a perfect match.
Quinton Carter to the Houston Texans - Carter will be a fourth round selection but he's gonna be a steal there. Look for him to have the opportunity to make an immediate impact in the Houston secondary.
Jeremy Beal to the New York Jets - Beal had a bad Senior Bowl and a sub par NFL Draft Combine workout which is ultimately going to result in him falling to the fourth round. However, game film will show that Beal knows how to make plays. He has the "football smarts" to be in the right position at just the right time and also possesses the ability to get to the quarterback. Rex Ryan is a defense first guy and he recognizes the potential that Beal possesses. Look for him to scoop up Oklahoma's former defensive end in the fourth round.
Unfortunately I think that's going to be all the names we hear called in this year's draft. Cameron Kenney has a chance to be selected in the seventh round by a team like Philadelphia who needs to boost their depth at receiver but he's more than likely an undrafted free agent candidate. With the current labor dispute going on in the NFL who knows when we'll see the free agent marked start up.
For more detail on Sooners in this year's NFL draft check out our podcast interview with Wes Bunting of the National Football Post.