If you missed this exercise in week one or week two, quickly play catchup. The only truly marquee game this weekend is Oklahoma-Florida State. There could be as many as 12 future pros on the field in Doak Campbell tonight. We’ll highlight a handful of them likely to be drafted in 2012 or 2013.
Landry Jones, redshirt junior QB: Strangely, not everyone thinks Landry Jones is a first-round lock. I certainly do. Mel Kiper does. Tony Pauline, not so much. Jones wasn’t very highly touted coming out of high school – the following QBs were rated higher: Pryor (NFL), Crist (ND), Gabbert (NFL), Manuel (FSU), Luck (Stanford), and Wilson (Arkansas). He’s 6-foot-4 with reportedly a good-but-not-great arm. Not very mobile. Threw for 380 and four TDs last year vs. Oklahoma and had four other games with more than 350 yards passing last year.
Ryan Broyles, senior WR: Not enamored with him like others are, but certainly a guy who will be taken in the 3rd or 4th round (at worst). He’s only 5-10, 190, but he isn’t a burner like DeSean Jackson. My issue is that Broyles seems like he could be a system guy – monster numbers (14-158 last week vs. Tulsa) at a high profile school but not totally suited for the NFL. Do you know how far you have to go back to find a productive Oklahoma pass-catcher in the pros? Keith Jackson, the prolific tight end who starred in the late 80s/early 90s. Juaquin Iglesias, Malcolm Kelly, Travis Wilson, Mark Bradley, Mark Clayton … none of them amounted to anything in the pros, yet all were in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd round. Brolyes has come a long way from this gas station incident his freshman year.
Ronnell Lewis, junior LB: Eligibility was in question this summer, but he was cleared prior to the opener. He’s played defensive end, linebacker, and excelled on special teams. At 6-foot-2, 245, he’s undersized to play end in the NFL, but that’s where you’ll mostly see him tonight. A mid-round talent when he decides to come out, unless he adds 25-30 pounds and then project as one of those athletic defensive ends who get drafted in the 1st or 2nd round.
Kenny Stills, sophomore WR: Had a rough offseason and didn’t play in the opener, but should still put up gigantic numbers this year. (As a true freshman Stills caught 61 passes for 786 yards.) At 6-1, 190, he’s a slightly bigger target than Brolyes. I’m going to assume Greg Reid will be on Broyles and Xavier Rhodes will be on Stills.
Tom Wort, redshirt sophomore linebacker: The Sooners are loaded at linebacker, and I didn’t even add their best player (Travis Lewis, who is out until October), or sophomore Corey Nelson, who is a promising player. Wort is 6-foot, 230, and made the Butkus preseason list. He tore his ACL as a true freshman, or hence the redshirt year. Probably more of a 2013 or 2014 draft pick (middle-round).
Brandon Jenkins, junior defensive end: Went from no sacks as a freshman to 13.5 as a sophomore. At 6-3, 265, they say he’s in the mold of Peter Boulware, Reinard Wilson and Andre Wadsworth, three previous superstar pass-rushers who played for the Seminoles. How much pressure Jenkins can put on Landry Jones will make life easier for the ‘Noles corners … none of whom played well in last year’s bad loss.
Greg Reid, junior cornerback: Entered last year as a stud corner, but got lit up badly by the Sooners in the rout, and his stock plummeted. Still considered an elite college corner (he’s only 5-8, 185), and a very good hitter for his size. Just ask Marcus Lattimore. In that bowl game, Reid also forced two fumbles.
Xavier Rhodes, redshirt sophomore cornerback: Even though Reid got most of the hype last year, Rhodes is emerging as the more talented player. He’s significantly bigger than Reid (6-1, 215 pounds) and because he’s got speed, he projects as a 1st round pick, perhaps even in the top 15. Rhodes was a star receiver in high school, but his adjustment has been seamless. It isn’t cray for a redshirt sophomore to get drafted that high – Aldon Smith (Missouri) went early last year and Earl Thomas (Texas) did in 2010.