Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma boasts having put five players into the first round of the NFL Draft since 2018. Next year, the program could add two more to the list.

I was mildly surprised to find that next-level scouts who grade underclassmen chose to bypass Ronnie Perkins this summer. On film, Perkins looks like a monster pass rusher with incredible next-level potential. The junior is incredibly athletic and explosive, and he is a great edge rusher. He’s fast up the field, and at the same time he competently makes plays in space or pursuit.

Perkins must add bulk and improve his play strength, but his upside is awesome.

Creed Humphrey gave serious consideration to entering last April’s draft, but he chose to return to Oklahoma for another season. Unlike Perkins, scouts graded Humphrey — a redshirt junior — as a second-round prospect. Like Perkins, Humphrey is explosive, athletic and very effective in motion. And like his teammate, he also must also get bigger and stronger.

Related | 2021 NFL Draft: Creed Humphrey is the top interior offensive lineman

Charleston Rambo does not get the credit he is due, but he should be the main weapon in OU’s passing game this season. Rambo is a solid downfield threat with decent size and reliable hands. I could see him making a move up draft boards with a big campaign in 2020.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State has produced three first-round selections over the past 10 years, none of whom panned out. Moving towards 2021, the Cowboys have another player who could end up in the first round.

Chuba Hubbard gave serious consideration to entering last April’s draft, but he decided to return and grades out as one of the top three running backs in the 2021 NFL Draft, assuming he enters. Hubbard is a game-changing ball carrier who easily beats defenders into the open field and picks up big chunks of yardage from the line of scrimmage. He runs hard on the inside, shows great vision and makes defenders miss.

In the end, I believe Hubbard is a first-round talent who plays a Day 2 position, just as I said about Alabama’s Najee Harris as well.

Related | 2021 NFL Draft: Ranking the Top 10 running backs in the class

Tylan Wallace was highly regarded in scouting circles last season before injury ended his campaign. He’s a terrific pass catcher with deceptive speed and reliable hands. Wallace consistently finds a way to come free and plays tough football. I grade him a bit lower than scouts, as I want to see him return to form.

Rodarius Williams is a nice-sized corner with solid ball skills. If he plays well this year, he could move into the early part of Day 3.

I graded Calvin Bundage as a mid-round pick coming into the 2019 season, but the linebacker never took a snap and was sidelined all year with a back injury. He’s a fierce defender with next-level size and speed, and like his teammate Williams, he could move into the early part of Day 3 if he returns to form.

Reminder: To view my grades and projected draft rounds for Big 12 draft-eligible prospects, scroll to the end of the article.

Texas Longhorns

The Longhorns have come very close the past few years, but they always fall short to Oklahoma. This could be the season they get over that hump on the field, although their draft board is full of second-day and mid-round choices with upside.

Samuel Cosmi was my highest-rated Longhorn last summer, and nothing has changed 12 months later. Cosmi is an athletic left tackle with excellent range and blocking fundamentals. He moves well on his feet, effectively protects the quarterback in pass protection and blocks well on the move.

Joseph Ossai has great upside and could make a move up draft boards. He’s fast, explosive and sells out to make plays. Ossai shows great sideline-to-sideline range as well as speed moving in every direction. He needs to polish his ball skills, but Ossai offers a ton of next-level potential.

Keondre Coburn is a mobile, athletic underclassman who projects as either a nose or defensive tackle for the next level. He fires off the snap, plays with great pad level and is a load to handle. Coburn is more than a gap occupier and shows the ability to make plays on the football and impact the game.

Related | 2021 NFL Draft: Sam Ehlinger has more to prove despite success

Sam Ehlinger is graded as early as a third-round pick to as late as a fifth-round pick by scouts I’ve spoken with, but I disagree. He’s a solid college signal-caller who effectively leads the Longhorns offense. His pass placement leaves a lot to be desired, however, and Ehlinger sprays too many throws to be a mid-round quarterback prospect as far as I am concerned.

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