by David Syvertsen
*#76 Luke Joeckel – OT – 6’6/310
1st Team All American, has not made a decision yet on declaring for the NFL. Widely considered to be the top left tackle in this class, and I’m on board. Joeckel’s best traits revolve around body control, balance, and efficiency. He bends at the knee very well, looks easy and comfortable. He keeps his arms extended with his butt low. He will need some strength and power development though. I’ve seen him beat by guys that are strong and play low, he’ll see that a lot in the NFL. He reminds me of Joe Thomas coming out. His technique, length, and average power will be good enough to get by right away in the league. But if he wants to be elite, he needs more power. Has a legit shot at being the first overall selection.
*#94 DaMontre Moore – DE – 6’4/250
2nd Team All American, 1st Team All SEC. Has already declared for the draft. A big time edge talent that has been more productive than any defensive player in the nation over the past two years. 37.5 tackles for loss and 21 sacks. Moore is a consistent force in every game I watch, no matter who he is matched up against. Plays the same position that Von Miller did while he was an Aggie. Not blessed with the same speed/explosion but Moore has the length and nose for the action. Moore is all over the field. The thing that scares me is the inability to beat guys one on one initially off the snap. A lot of his plays are hustle based after a play breaks down. That’s great when considering how hard he plays, but to be an elite edge talent I want to see guys win more initial battles. He will end with a high grade and likely a top 10 pick, but I am still trying to figure out his game.
#33 Christine Michael – RB – 5’11/220
One of my favorite inside running backs in the draft. A power back that will find a spot in the NFL. Was the Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 2009 but broke his leg eight games in to the 2010 season and tore his ACL in the ninth game of 2011. Michael may not be a feature back at the next level. His speed is questionable, and he doesn’t run to the outside very well. But when it comes to vision, decisiveness, and the vital five yard split in between the tackles, I really like him. Short yardage backs need more than size and strength. They need to have the ability to make themselves small and tight on top of attacking the line of scrimmage. Michael does that well. He is an undervalued back that could be a great pick after round 5.
#10 Sean Porter – LB – 6’2/230
Porter had sky high expectations heading in to 2012, and I was underwhelmed. He had 17.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in 2011. He is very explosive, very fast. One of the fastest linebackers in the nation. However he lacks any sort of power to his game and I can’t see him getting off blocks at the next level. A quality blocker can alter his positioning with a simple punch. Porter is a very good cover linebacker though. Easy mover in space, anticipates well. Can shadow some receivers. His speed is apparent and some defensive coaches will be very attracted to that. Still a limited player though. 4th-6th rounder.
#25 Ryan Swope – WR – 6’0/206
2nd Team All SEC. Has had a long, productive career. Has a shot at being the program’s all time leading receiver with a good game tonight. I’ve seen Swope 5 times this year, and he saved his best performances for the LSU and Alabama matchups. Swope is tough as nails, very physical. He specializes in finding the vacant windows in that 5-9 yard area of the route tree. Could be a nice slot receiver at the net level with size. He has enough quickness and acceleration to sneak behind a defense. Limited athlete but his game revolved around strong hands, solid route running, and mastering the little nuances to the position. 5th-7throunder that will find a niche in the right system.
#22 Dustin Harris – CB – 6’0/175
Could get drafted for his return ability alone. Has some potential as a press corner. Not very big, but has a wiry frame and plays physical. Long arms, very fast. Has specific technique issues that can be played around with. A good coach and the right scheme could get good use out of Harris on top of his solid return ability.
*#1 Tony Jefferson – S – 5’11/212
2nd Team All American. One of my favorite safety prospects in the nation, might end up being by #1 guy at the position when all is said and done. A tackling machine that has had big time success from the very beginning of his career. Makes a tremendous physical impact when he engages with the ball carrier. Great form tackler. Consistently makes the difficult tackle in space, a rarity these days among collegiate defensive backs. Jefferson is an average pass defender. He doesn’t do well against speed receivers one on one. Does not have tremendous range in zone coverage. But keep in mind that he had a severely sprained ankle for the majority of the 2012 season and still played at a high level. Jefferson is a great strong safety prospect if he can be kept in the box most of the time. 2nd/3rd rounder.
#69 Lane Johnson – OT – 6’7/303
Interesting prospect here. Was a high school and junior college quarterback before transferring to Oklahoma. Was moved to tight end, then defensive end before settling in at right tackle in 2011. I saw Johnson play left tackle four times this year, and I was intrigued from the get go. I talked about him in September as a guy that could be a top 45 pick, and that statement stands. Johnson has tremendous length and you can tell he’s recently been a skill-positioned athlete. Plays with a strong, wide, knee-bending base. Great get off at the point of attack. Little things like hand placement and footwork will need to be worked on but with an athlete like this, I don’t see it being an issue down the road. A little more bulk and some coaching, Johnson could be a long time starter at left tackle in the NFL. 2nd rounder.
*#4 Kenny Stills – WR – 6’1/190
Junior that has not yet declared. Stills is as steady a player as you will find in football. He is a slot receiver that is hard to cover. He is tougher than most NFL receivers when it comes to going over the middle and putting his body on the line. He puts in full effort to block, often taking on defenders much bigger than him. Stills will be the consistent second or third option that can be relied upon when is number is called a la Lance Moore, James Jones. He is not a superstar, but every effective passing offense has a Stills-type receiver. 2nd/3rd rounder.
#6 DeMontre Hurst – CB – 5’10/183
I want to look in to Hurst a bit more over the next month, and tonight will be a nice start. He is very quick very decisive, very smart. Good combinations. Problem is, teams really avoided throwing his way in the games I saw. Hurst has potential to be that sneaky cornerback that ends up going in round 3 that most assumed would be available in the later rounds.
#12 Landry Jones – QB – 6’4/218
Outstanding, record setting career. Following the 2010 season, Jones appeared to be the next Sooner quarterback to be drafted #1 overall. He’s been exposed, and is no longer in first round talks. Jones has a good, not great arm. His biggest issues revolve around his presence within the pocket and going through progressions. He doesn’t have the confidence you want in a franchise quarterback. His mechanics seemed to have worsened as time has went on. Early success is one thing. But you really find out who a quarterback is when they are smacked in the face with adversity. Jones will have the opportunity to fight his way back in to the first three rounds. The skill set is there, as I don’t see a huge difference between him and Barkley.
#97 JaMarkus McFarland – DT – 6’2/288
Blue chip recruit out of high school that never made the impact at Oklahoma. He won’t fit in to every scheme, but I do think there is value here late in the draft. He was not used the right way at Oklahoma. He hold his ground well against the run, takes on double teams, keeps linebackers clean. Not a penetrator, but he doesn’t need to be. 3-4 teams can see him as a run defending end. Late rounder.
#90 David King – DE – 6’5/286
Another versatile defensive linemen that will only fit in to a very specific role/scheme at the next level. Has the NFL body that carries a lot of weight very well. Long arms, strong hands, hot feet. King is 3-4 prospect, has plenty of experience inside and out. Not a big difference maker, but a late rounder with role player potential.