2017 NFL Draft
The Oklahoma Sooners are sending eight prospects to the 2017 NFL draft (Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports)

There are many NCAA schools riddled with NFL talent on their rosters. Each player has the sparkle in his eye and the hope of hearing his name called in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 27th. The reality is, not everyone can be selected during the 2017 NFL draft. Today, I break down the NFL talent from the University of Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners have eight prospects that have a chance to hear their name called during the 2017 NFL draft. Let’s take a more in-depth look at these players.

Joe Mixon – RB

2017 NFL Draft
Joe Mixon celebrates a touchdown (Stephen Pingry/Tulsa World)

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 228 lbs.

I want to start off by saying what he did was wrong and inconceivable. While I do not dismiss it, I am here to discuss his talent on the football field and draft projection. Will his stock fall after what happened? Absolutely. Would he be off my draft board if I was a GM? No question. The Miami Dolphins admitted he was “off their draft board”.  But it does not matter what I think, it matters what scouts think. Cameron Wolfe gives good insight to this situation.

Strictly from a physical perspective, he is a first-round talent. Although he was not invited to participate at the NFL combine, he still impressed at his pro day where he ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, posted 21 reps of 225 lbs on the bench press, a 35-inch vertical jump, and a 9 foot 10-inch broad jump. Last season, he tallied 1274 yards on 179 carries for 10 touchdowns. Additionally, he added 538 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the passing game. Here is a clip that shows his quick burst to the edge.

Many teams would benefit greatly from Joe Mixon’s talent. A team that is need of a running back and does not have a first-round pick is the Minnesota Vikings (48th overall). If the Vikings were to select him, they would receive a first-round talent for a second-round pick at a key position. The fit makes sense. This is not unfamiliar territory for the Minnesota Vikings as the last cornerstone running back they had also played at Oklahoma. Hopefully, Mixon is sorry for what he did and changes for the better.

Player Comparison: Larry Johnson

Samaje Perine – RB

2017 NFL Draft
Samaje Perine scores a touchdown against Kansas State (Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Height: 5’11” 
Weight: 236 lbs.

Samaje Perine has not received the attention that he rightly deserves; mostly because he played behind Mixon. A season ago, Perine recorded 196 attempts for 1060 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also added 106 yards and one touchdown in the passing game. Here is a little tease of what he can do out of the backfield.

Although it has very little indication of how talented a running back is, Perine nearly set the combine record for running back bench reps; he notched 30 reps (record held by Jerick McKinnon – 32). Here is a video of Perine throwing up 225 lbs like it is a toothpick.

One AFC National Scout told NFL.com,

“I love Perine. Great kid, hard worker, reliable. He’s a team-first player who will fit into a committee approach or can handle all the work. He will be a solid pro back.”

All in all, Samaje Perine has shown throughout his career he can handle a heavy workload. Scouts love the power he generates and runs behind as well as the pad level that he plays with. He wins at the line of scrimmage and has soft hands as a receiver out of the backfield. Teams like the Denver Broncos (82nd overall), the Oakland Raiders (88th overall), and the Kansas City Chiefs (91st overall) all are options to select him in the middle/late 3rd round.

Player Comparison: Jonathan Stewart

The Other Sooners

Dede Westbrook (WR) – Late 4th round (138th overall) – Cincinnati Bengals. 
Charles Walker (DT) – Late 5th round (174th overall) – Atlanta Falcons.
Jordan Evans (ILB) –  Late 6th round (213th overall) – Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ahmad Thomas (FS) –  Mid 7th round (233rd overall) – Carolina Panthers.
Jordan Wade (DT) – Undrafted.
Geno Lewis (WR) – Undrafted.