This no doubt is one of many previews you’ll read this week about the NFL draft — and which Oregon State players will get drafted. So I tried to come up with a different-ish headline, and I’ll keep this quick. The draft runs tomorrow through Saturday.
Will be drafted
Steven Nelson, CB: The JUCO corner lived up to the hype during his two years in Corvallis. Despite his smallish stature, he emerged as one of the Beavers’ better lockdown corners in recent years, and showed a good nose for the ball, especially his junior season. That said, I think he’ll be rewarded by being the highest-picked OSU player. My Guess: 2nd Round.
Sean Mannion, QB: Coming off some impressive showings at draft events, the Pac-12’s all-time leading passer’s stock has soared. Some pundits rank him as the third best QB in the draft because of his familiarity running a pro-style offense and ability to make all the throws. He could be a steal, especially if drafted by a team that can groom him. My Guess: 3-4 rounds.
Has a good shot
Obum Gwachum, DE/LB: What a difference a position change can make. Gwachum, who toiled at WR the first three years of his career, In his lone season (2014) at defense end, he used his explosive athleticism and solid speed to record 28 tackles, 5.5 for loss, and four sacks. His physical makeup and high upside could be intriguing later in the draft. My Guess: 6th round.
Dylan Wynn, DE/FB (?): There’s no questioning Wynn’s high motor and heart. Plus, he did a lot of little (but important) things that didn’t show up in the stat lines. There are questions surrounding his athleticism and size, but that didn’t stop at least one team from looking at him at full back. If a team takes Wynn, it will have a steal on its hands. My Guess: 7th round.
On the fence:
Ryan Murphy, S: He might have had a disappointing senior season, but Murphy is an excellent athlete with good size — who has showed the ability to be a ball-hawking playmaker from the safety position. That said, teams no doubt noticed the drop in production from Murphy this past year, which is a stock killer. My Guess: Undrafted free agent.
Linebackers Michael Doctor and DJ Alexander. Both are undersized and battled serious injuries at times during their careers. They have good athleticism and decent speed, but probably not enough to get drafted. My Guess: Undrafted.
What do you think? How will ex-OSU players fare in this week’s NFL draft? (RW)