For the first time since 2017, an Oklahoma player won’t be the first pick in the NFL Draft. That doesn’t mean Sooners won’t be a big factor in the 2020 draft.
Oklahoma’s group of NFL prospects doesn’t have the depth of 2019 when eight players were drafted, but the 2020 class has just as much early firepower. CeeDee Lamb headlines a group that could make an early impact, especially if they end up where Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer has them projected. Kenneth Murray and Neville Gallimore helped lead a much improved Sooner defense in 2019, and quarterback Jalen Hurts finished second in the Heisman after a senior season that is statistically equivalent to the last two No. 1 overall picks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
Here are the Sooners players SN projects will be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft according to our seven-round mock draft .
NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: Ranking the top 100 prospects in 2020
NFL mock draft 2020: Oklahoma’s projected picks
CeeDee Lamb, WR
Projected: Round 1, Pick No. 12 (Raiders)
Lamb is a monster after the catch. He doesn’t have the blazing speed of other wideouts, but his shiftiness with the ball in his hands is enough to turn any catch into a big play. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has an elite offensive system that often created wide open lanes for Lamb without utilizing an extensive route tree. That doesn’t mean Lamb can’t be a successful route runner in the NFL, it just means he didn’t show it in college. Lamb is a beast with huge upside and very small bust potential due to his exceptional ability to rack up YAC.
Vinnie Iyer: The Raiders have a glaring need for a top receiver no matter who their QB is in 2020, whether that’s Derek Carr or someone else. The Antonio Brown debacle is behind them, but they also need to worry about Tyrell Williams coming off a disappointing season and foot surgery. Lamb can be the Raiders’ version of DeAndre Hopkins, an explosive field-stretcher and steady possession guy outside. At 6-1, 198 pounds, Lamb needed only 58 receptions to post 1,208 yards and 14 TDs in 13 games last season.
Kenneth Murray, LB
Projected: Round 1, Pick No. 28 (Ravens)
Murray is a sideline to sideline defensive playmaker with elite speed for an inside linebacker. His 4.52 40-yard dash was barely behind Lamb’s 4.50. He plays with so much energy that he can be overeager to make a tackle and misjudge running back lanes, but can be coached up into an integral member of a defense, especially if he ends up in Baltimore.
Iyer: The Ravens didn’t address linebacker in the first wave of free agency, and they need more speed on the second level to better handle the run and cover short-to-intermediate routes. Murray (6-2, 241 pounds) is an active, rangy playmaker who can be as effective dropping back as he is getting downhill against the run or blitzing.
Neville Gallimore, DT
Projected: Round 2, Pick No. 59 (Seahawks)
Gallimore has great athleticism for a big man in the middle of a defensive line. Gallimore contributed all four years in Norman but only has 8.5 career sacks on his resume. He has the potential to be an impact player but his overall production didn’t quite match up with the ability that is seen in flashes on film.
Iyer: Should the Seahawks get a versatile edge defender such as Zack Baun in the first round, the interior of their front will take priority in the second round. Gallimore (6-2, 304 pounds) packs a relentless, powerful punch for his size.
Jalen Hurts, QB
Projected: Round 3, Pick No. 80 (Raiders)
Hurts was every bit as productive for the Sooners as the last two No. 1 picks. He had 54 total touchdowns in 2019 (32 passing, 21 rushing) and threw for over 3800 yards at a nearly 70% rate. His passing ability doesn’t quite compare to Mayfield and Murray. His receivers were often wide open, and when they weren’t, he often took off and ran instead of anticipating when his receivers would break free. Hurts doesn’t have the smooth, effortless delivery of his predecessors, but there’s something to be said about his leadership and running ability that could make him work in the NFL.
Iyer: The Raiders, namely Jon Gruden, have been enamored with the winning makeup and pedigree of Hurts (6-1, 222 pounds) as a potential replacement for Derek Carr in the near future. Hurts’ toughness and leadership intangibles are off the charts, and while finishing his career in Lincoln Riley’s offense, he improved as a runner and as a downfield passer.
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