Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma football: Will any Sooners declare early for the NFL Draft?

by Berry Tramel Modified: December 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm •  Published: December 17, 2013

OU would seem to be free of potential defections to the NFL Draft by non-seniors. But you never know.

“You tell ‘em that,” Bob Stoops said to the media on Monday, “that they ought’nt be thinking about it.”

Stoops said some Sooners had entered the paperwork to get a draft evaluation. He declined to say who might be thinking of turning pro.

Here are the players with eligibility remaining but also eligible for the draft, since they are three seasons removed from their high school careers:

JUNIORS

Safety Julian Wilson: I found an internet thread in which some faux draft analyst had a chat-room argument with some reader over Wilson’s draft stock. I suppose Wilson could be a prospect.

Offensive tackle Daryl Williams: Actually had some ratings last year, when he was a redshirt sophomore. He could be a candidate to leave.

Offensive tackle Tyrus Thompson: Not much talk, plus now he’s injured.

Offensive guard Adam Shead: Chronically injured. Would appear to have little NFL potential.

Defensive tackle Torrea Peterson: Has turned into a decent player but gets little draft love.

Defensive end Chuka Ndulue: nfldraftscout.com rates Ndulue the 38th defensive tackle in the draft. Which means he might get a sniff.

Kicker Michael Hunnicutt: I don’t recommend kickers leave school early, unless you’re ready to start nailing 61-yard field goals with the game on the line.

Defensive end Geneo Grissom: Grissom has fallen out of the starting lineup, but that hasn’t stopped others from turning pro.

Receiver Trey Franks: No chance of being drafted, but if Franks is tired of school, he probably would get a chance as a free agent. The NFL loves speed.

Quarterback Blake Bell: Who knows? If it’s clear that OU is going to an option offense, Bell’s options are transfer (provided he graduates), wait it out and hope for injury, or try his hand in an NFL camp, almost certainly as a free agent.

Defensive tackle Quincy Russell: Ballyhooed but has played little. Sounds like a recipe for filing papers.

Fullback Aaron Ripkowski: If you ask me, the best NFL prospect on this list.

Safety Quentin Hayes: I don’t see it, but you never know.

Punter Jed Barnett: Punters rarely are drafted, but Barnett would get a shot in camp, especially the way he kicked in Bedlam.

SOPHOMORES

Linebacker Frank Shannon: He can run. The NFL might try to turn him into a safety. But since Shannon’s only a sophomore, he clearly ought to wait.

Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips: Same with Shannon. Maybe a solid prospect one day, but only a sophomore. He could blossom into more.

Defensive end P.L. Lindley: Not nearly big enough yet (254 pounds) to draw NFL interest. Better to bulk up.

Offensive guard Nila Kasitati: A good player. Same with the D-linemen, though. No reason not to come back, since he’s just a sophomore.

Cornerback Cortez Johnson: It’s not really working out well for him. He could be a candidate to bolt.

Offensive tackle Derek Farniok: The NFL will love his frame, 6-foot-9, but he needs to show much more to get professional interest.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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