Now that the NFL Draft and the speculation surrounding it is (finally) over, we can start the speculation of who will do what, and who won’t.
Obviously, the consensus is that receiver Justin Blackmon (to the Jacksonville Jaguars) will have a great career in the league, and quarterback Brandon Weeden (Cleveland Browns) as well. Markelle Martin (Tennessee Titans) slipped, but ultimately was drafted in the sixth round— Something no one saw coming, but it happens.
But what about the other guys? When you’re an undrafted free agent, you may bounce around a little bit. For instance, you may be picked up by Miami, but in the end they may not have a roster spot for you… But St. Louis does, so you go there. It’s a tough life. As far as OSU guys go, there were plenty of the undrafted free agents, but four of them really stick out to me for not only landing somewhere, but where they landed to have the most success possible.
Number 1: WR Josh Cooper; Cleveland Browns
This one is obvious, and has had people buzzing since it happened. The two worked out together in Boone Pickens Stadium on Monday, and that got the “Weeden2Cooper” chatter going even more.
This pick up is not only good for Cleveland, as I think Cooper is a solid receiver that knows how to get into space and catch the football, but it’s also a good place for him. He enjoyed tremendous success with Weeden over the last two years in Stillwater, and one of the biggest issues for a rookie receiver is getting to know his quarterback. In this case, Cooper can skip that step and start producing immediately. Not to mention, name me three receivers in Cleveland. Josh Cribbs, Mohamed Massaquoi, and……
Good chance of making the roster for him.
Number 2: DE Jamie Blatnick; Denver Bronco’s
Projected anywhere from the fourth to the sixth round before suffering a minor setback (strained pectoral) at the NFL Combine, Blatnick enjoyed a breakout senior season for the Pokes in 2011, and is a guy that never takes a play off. He was an All-Big 12 performer, and a leader in the locker room for his team. The knock on him was that he’s a bit undersized (Listed as 6’2) for the NFL, as most offensive lineman are considered small at 6’4, especially at the tackle position whom Blatnick will go up against at the end position.
That being said, landing in Denver is perfect for Blatnick. The Broncos already have 2x Pro Bowler Elvis Dumervil, and also have Robert Ayers at the end positions. Outside of that, they have Texas A&M grad Von Miller, who is already considered one of the best at the outside linebacker position, but he’s also capable of getting into a stance as an end.
Blatnick can compliment these players well, as he’s a blend of every type of end that you want. He’s strong (he was one of two members of the ‘500 Pound Bench Club’ at OSU), but can also move pretty quickly (See his 50+ yard fumble return vs. OU). On top of that, the guy’s motor never stops. That’s something every coach dreams of having, and I can see him taking a roster spot by force.
Number 3: C Grant Garner; Washington Redskins
Grant Garner was one of the leaders of the nation’s best offensive line in 2010 and 2011. As a unit, they were constantly at the top of the rankings for the least amount of sacks given up, and were one of the key reasons that Oklahoma State’s record book is now authored by Weeden.
Garner is an anchor in the middle, and combines his physical gifts with his intelligence for major production on the field. He made the line calls for the unit, which means he had to quickly identify what the opponent’s defense is doing and make sure the other four lineman are on the same page.
As far as how good he is, try and think back to the last time Weeden fumbled a snap. Hint: It was under-center against Troy in 2010, and Weeden was playing with a sprained thumb.
Oh, and not to mention that Robert Griffin III guy was drafted to Washington. A franchise quarterback and a franchise center building a relationship in their rookie years? Sounds like a good situation to me.
Number 4: OT Levy Adcock; Dallas Cowboys
Adcock is a straight up freak. He’s from Claremore, OK, and was named All-County in three sports (Football, Basketball, Baseball). He started at NEO before transferring to OSU, and played a little bit of tight end. In his junior and senior season, he was named back-to-back first team All-Big 12, as well as named First Team All-American in 2011, and rarely even missed a block.
Adcock is athletic enough to play both sides of the line, and that will help him out when it comes down to a position battle. The Cowboys used a first-round pick in 2011 on OT Tyron Smith, who they’ve had at right tackle, but anyone who watched a Cowboys game in 2011 will tell you that every other position should be up for grabs as the unit was downright terrible last season.
Is he capable of starting in the NFL? His truck-bed full of awards suggest it. Will he? Who knows, but he definitely has the best shot with the Cowboys. They need answers quick on an offensive line that has become famous for mishaps (RT Alex Barron @ WAS in 2011, C Phil Costa’s three bad snaps in one game last year).