OU football: Where Creed Humphrey, Ronnie Perkins and other Sooners could land in NFL Draft
NORMAN — With a flurry of announcements over the last couple of weeks, the players leaving OU for the NFL Draft have mostly been settled.
Last year, the Sooners had four players picked, headlined by CeeDee Lamb at No. 17 overall.
There’s no sure-fire first-round draft pick among this year’s group, but there’s a good chance OU extends its streak of having at least four picks to 14 consecutive years.
This year’s lead-up to the draft, much like last year’s, figures to look completely different than normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sports Illustrated reported Friday that regionalized medical checks and team meetings could occur via Zoom to avoid a single large gathering in Indianapolis. Pro days would likely be more of a focus for on-field drills, with help from the NFL to provide consistent measurements.
The draft is currently scheduled for April 29-May 1.
Here’s a look at the Sooners who have declared for the draft and where they may wind up:
Center Creed Humphrey, 6-5, 320
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Humphrey’s performance was overlooked a bit this year due to the offensive line’s inconsistency but he finished his career without allowing a sack and was a solid run blocker. His Pro Football Focus grade of 80.2 was the best of his career. The crispness of his snaps needs improvement but he’s got a chance to be the first OU player off the board. He figures to go in the second or third round.
Defensive end Ronnie Perkins, 6-3, 247
After being suspended for the first part of the season, Perkins was the most dominant defender in the Big 12 over the last half of the season. He’s explosive off the line with powerful hands that helps him beat tackles quickly. But he can be overaggressive at times, especially against the run. Perkins has generated a bit of first-round buzz, so there’s a chance he could work himself that high but the more likely landing spot is late in the second to third round.
Running back Rhamondre Stevenson, 6-0, 246
No OU player could increase his stock more with the measurables of the NFL Combine, or whatever form that takes in 2021, than Stevenson. After returning from suspension, Stevenson showed a rare combination of power and speed. He averaged nearly 4.8 yards after contact in the Sooners’ Cotton Bowl win. With his size, some project him as a fullback. Running backs aren’t exactly prized in the draft, which could push his landing position down some. There’s a wide range of where he could wind up but he figures to be off the board by the fourth round. He could go higher, though, and if he’s picked before the 48th pick, he’d be the highest-drafted Sooners running back since Adrian Peterson went No. 7 overall in 2007.
Offensive tackle Adrian Ealy, 6-6, 327
Ealy stayed at right tackle this season, allowing three sacks on 390 pass plays according to Pro Football Focus. He’s a strong pass blocker with long arms and strong hands, but sometimes has issues run blocking. Ealy has plenty of room for growth still, and could make a leap in the coming months but for now he figures to be a late-round pick.
Cornerback Tre Brown, 5-10, 186
After his interception in the Big 12 Championship Game, Brown opted out of the Cotton Bowl to get a head start on preparing for the draft. Brown has speed in the 4.4 range, which will put him in strong position, and his ability to return kicks is a mark in his favor as well. Brown figures to be a third-day pick or could be an undrafted free agent.
Safety Tre Norwood, 6-0, 194
Norwood surprised some by declaring for the draft after a strong finish to this season, with five interceptions in the final six games. Norwood’s measurables don’t figure to jump off the page, though they also won’t be out of place in the NFL. Norwood excelled in coverage, not only when it came to interceptions but across the board. He seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Norwood figures to be a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent, but even if he isn’t drafted, he could carve out a career. His versatility — Norwood played virtually everywhere in the secondary for the Sooners, also could make him attractive.