|Lane Johnson is rocketing up draft boards.|
Six former Sooners will get to show their stuff at this weekend’s NFL combine in Indianapolis in hopes of improving their draft status in April—Tony Jefferson, Lane Johnson, Landry Jones, Stacy McGee, Kelly Stills and Tom Wort.
The NFL has provided an analysis for each on its web site:
*Jefferson’s height (5-11) doesn’t appear to be a deterrent to scouts taking a chance on him. The bottom line of his analysis is that his “leadership skills, physicality around the line of scrimmage and his coverage skills will entice teams to pick him early in the 2013 draft.”
*Johnson improved his stock at last month’s Senior Bowl, and he has been projected to go as high as 20th in the first round to the Chicago Bears.
“Scouts saw the potential in Johnson grow throughout the 2011 and 2012 seasons due to his athleticism, strength, and solid technique despite his lack of experience,” the analysis states. “Expect his name to be mentioned frequently throughout the process."
*Jones’ draft stock will depend on his ability to perform consistently under pressure, which he had problems with many times at OU.
The report states that Jones “can be decisive and flashes the accuracy to pick apart defenses at the next level. However, his tendency to get rattled under pressure is a major issue. Also, when things start to go downhill, he lacks a short memory; his confidence is shaken. He is also inconsistent in his reads and decision making.”
*McGee is reported to possess the physical attributes that many teams love in their defensive linemen, but he is not as impressive as former Sooners Tommie Harris or Gerald McCoy. He didn’t make the kind of waves that his predecessors did while at OU (both two-time All-Americans and Harris a Lombardi winner) and his off-the-field problems kept him from living up to his promise.
The bottom line report on McGee is that he “has all the physical attributes to be a contributor as a 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end. However, between a lack of production throughout his career, multiple off-the-field incidents, and suspensions, he is unlikely to be drafted.”
*Kenny Stills’ early exit from the OU program may keep him from being drafted in a lofty position – he is likely to be taken in the third round. Had he stayed for his senior year, he might have gone higher.
“While Stills isn't the biggest or the fastest,” the report states, “he has a knack for finding ways to get open. He has the ability to track the football, and make some extremely difficult catches. Stills will likely be selected around the third round.”
*Like Stills, Wort is leaving OU a year early, and the way he was unable to adapt to Mike Stoops’ system last year may be a dertiment for him to be drafted at all.
The report states that he “had a successful college career, but appears to lack the same tools to succeed in the NFL. He's a bit of a 'tweener in the NFL. He will have to prove he can contribute on special teams in order to earn a roster spot.”