OSU football: How Chuba Hubbard, Tylan Wallace and Cowboys' NFL prospects stack up
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins chose to end his college football career, announcing on Monday that he would sit out the rest of the season to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Jenkins suffered a back injury in the Bedlam game on Nov. 21 and did not play in the Cowboys’ win over Texas Tech on Saturday.
On the field, that means redshirt freshman Preston Wilson will continue his work at left guard, while redshirt junior Josh Sills will remain in Jenkins’ right tackle spot.
Off the field, it raises the question of what the NFL Draft outlook is like for Jenkins and the Cowboys’ other top pro prospects.
Here’s a look at the status of the four most notable Cowboys for the 2021 NFL Draft:
Teven Jenkins, offensive tackle
OSU coach Mike Gundy has long said if Jenkins could tap into his nasty side, he’d have a long pro career ahead of him. This season, Jenkins has added that nasty edge to go with his 6-foot-6, 320-pound frame and uncanny athletic ability.
ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. recently ranked Jenkins as the 10th-best offensive tackle in the draft. Jenkins has shown he can play both sides of the line, though he’s most comfortable on the right.
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Playing a position of high value, Jenkins could go as high as the second round, though the third or fourth seems more likely right now. Eleven offensive tackles were picked in the first three rounds of the 2020 draft.
Chuba Hubbard, running back
Hubbard is the most intriguing Cowboy when it comes to draft stock, because he returned for his junior year coming off a 2,000-yard season and has underperformed those lofty expectations, mostly because of a nagging ankle injury that has bothered him for more than a month.
While it seems like his lack of production in the middle of the season might have hurt his draft value, experts haven’t necessarily seen it that way. Pro Football Focus still rates Hubbard as the second-best running back and No. 63 overall player in the draft. Kiper dropped him from No. 2 to No. 4 on his running back rankings, which still figures to mean a third- or fourth-round selection.
The biggest negative for Hubbard is that he didn’t do anything to improve his stock by showing growth in the areas NFL teams wanted to see it — receiving and pass blocking.
And he still has his 2019 game tape to show off his elite speed, patience and vision when he’s fully healthy, which should help him hold steady as a mid-round prospect.
“You would think so,” Gundy said. “When we have NFL people come in and visit with our team… the first thing they say is, ‘There’s not anything any coach or any person can do to convince us, other than putting the video on and watching you have success. That’s what we’ll draft you on.’
“I would think that would carry some weight, but it’s hard for me to tell.”
Tylan Wallace, receiver
Wallace solidified his status as a top-10 receiver simply by coming back and showing he was healthy after suffering a torn ACL in October of 2019.
His physicality and ball skills on contested catches stand out among a deep receiver class. At 6 feet and 190 pounds, he won’t be the biggest or the fastest receiver on the draft board. But few will have a more established log of production than Wallace.
In the 2020 draft, 13 receivers were picked in the first two rounds, giving Wallace a shot at being the first Cowboy off the board next spring.
Rodarius Williams, cornerback
The 6-foot, 195-pound Williams has been the Cowboys’ most improved player this season, and it’s impacting his draft value. Gundy estimates that Williams has raised his stock by three or four rounds with his play this season.
“Rodarius is probably the hottest guy on our team right now when it comes to interest from the NFL,” Gundy said. “What he’s putting on tape is exactly what those guys at that level want to see.”
Ranked No. 8 among cornerbacks by Kiper, Williams could be targeted in the second to fourth rounds.
Scott Wright covers OSU athletics for The Oklahoman. You can send your story ideas to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @ScottWrightOK. Support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.