The Pro Prospects on Texas’ Roster
Posted by Tipsy Gypsie
If you watched the Spring Game it’s quite obvious that Patrick McNamara has the highest ceiling of anyone on the team. What team? Any team. In fact Chris Man of Spiel had this to say, and I quote, “McNamara is making that gaggle of insufferable excuses for quarterbacks look like the next coming of JoeyfuckingGermaine, wanna brass-knuckle fight, Urbs?”
McNamara’s Spring Game performance, along with Spielman’s glowing praise is nothing more than foreshadowing a future podium-side handshake from Roger Goodell and a raucous welcoming by J-E-T-SSS fans far and wide. Excorcising the ghosts of Kyle Brady, imo.
Aside from McNamara who else has ‘NFL’ tattooed across their chest? For a University whose position atop the hierarchy of talent producers is well established, that’s the Drew Rosenhaus question.
I’ll rate these guys based on round projection, not the year they declare/graduate. As you can tell, my clairvoyance meter is going to have to be turned to “Miss Cleo” setting for this post to be worth a shit in a year’s time. Please keep in mind these are opinions and not factual musings like Penthouse Forum or Dianetics.
First Round Lock – hopefully after his Senior year
Jordan Hicks: Range, intelligence, effort, and athleticism; Hicks has it all. He might not be the crazy athlete that Derrick Johnson was, but the same knocks that had Johnson slip in the draft won’t hamper Hicks–mainly willingness to take on blockers in the hole. Hicks has yet to display Johnson’s Eddie Murphy like ability to strip a “ball carrier”, but all in due time. As long as Jordan stays healthy, his future is already written. Don’t believe me? See above.
Likely First Rounder
Jackson Jeffcoat: Provided he stays healthy and continues on the same growth arc, Jeffcoat looks like a sure-fire Thursday night pick. With his combination of seasoning and athletic ability Jeffcoat will be attractive to suitors looking for either a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE. One thing to keep in mind is the amount of stock many GM’s put into measurables. If Jeffcoat tests well, he’s a lock first rounder.
Possible First Rounder
Mike Davis: The only thing keeping Davis from being a lock first round talent in my view is physical development. He’s going to have to add some size and strength components to his game, but his ability to get wide open will make him popular. He doesn’t posess the greatest straight line speed but his close quarter quickness is nearly unrivaled. To me his ceiling and floor are the same. Steve Smith from Carolina for his max and Steve Smith from New York for his min.
Possible First Rounder
Kheeston Randall: Big Money Texas might want to start thinking about diversifying to Big Money Euro to better maximize his future earnings. The future green back stacker reminds me of ex Green Bay Packer Santana Dotson. He’ll clog running lanes and pursue laterally while occasionally hurrying the quarterback into a Favreish decision.
Possible First but Likely Second or Third Rounder
Alex Okafor: If he displays a better first step over the next two years then he definitely has first round potential. From what I’ve seen so far he looks like a 3-4 DE and there just isn’t that high a premium on them as they’re more gap fillers and run stoppers.
Editor’s note: I find it hard to believe from the limited action I’ve seen and from the reports given to me by The Asset that Reggie Wilson won’t go in the second round at the latest, but I still need to see more. He looks to be the median of Jeffcoat and Okafor. He has absolutely scary upside because of his strength and speed duality.
Second or Third Rounder
Trey Hopkins: The proverbial dancing bear would be higher if he had the size for Tackle. As it sits now he looks to have the feet and agility to be a fine guard in an offense that puts a premium on pulling. Along with things I’ve seen and liked I’m cheating a little here and going off the opinion of a man that’s put his share of linemen in the league.
Second or Third Rounder
Mason Walters: Coming out of high school Walters was an all world tackle prospect. Though he injured his foot as a Freshman I don’t think that stunted his ability to play on the edge. He’s just better suited to interior play. Where as Hopkins’ assets are athleticism-based, Walters is a flat out mauler with a dash of athletic ability. When we need a tough yard expect us to have Cody Johnson follow Walters’ lead.
Possible Second Rounder but likely Mid-Rounder
Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho: Though the two have similar pro prospects I think NFL scouts will want to use them differently. Robinson looks like a sure fire Will prospect with his ability to keep up with most TE’s and close on ball carriers. I think Acho posesses similar speed but is more suited for attacking downhill. Both players would benefit greatly from strong playmaking Senior campaigns. Like many of the players above, their drafts stock will be helped by the interview and vetting process.
Possible Late Rounder or Unrestricted Free Agent based on Solid Senior Years
Cody Johnson: Though the FB is a dying breed in the NFL there’s still a niche for a 250 pound man that can move like Johnson. If Harsin uses CJ out of the backfield as a receiver that will only help him further. It’s been said he’s a poor receiver, I don’t buy it. He hasn’t been used much, but when he has he’s made plays. Remember that absurd long pass to him down the sideline against OU?
Fozzy Whitaker: First, if he doesn’t stay healthy this year then fuhgedaboutit. If he does stay healthy and he can take advantage of any space created by the Harsinwhite offense Whitaker might have a chance as an UFA.
Malcolm Williams: It’s put up or shut up time for the guy whose breakout game is always the next one played. I think his size/speed/tenacity troika will get him invited to a camp. He must show more consistency catching the ball, obviously, but there is always a coach in the League who’s hubristic enough to think he can teach a physically freakish talent like Mal to catch. Alexander Wright anyone?
Blake Gideon: He’s on here because I don’t want to live in a world where a four year starter at the University of Texas doesn’t atleast get invited to play in the NFL. Plus Bobby Burton told me he was the Longhorn’s sixth most talented player last season.
Not Enough Sample Size
Thomas Ashcraft: The same coach who liked Hopkins’ pro prospects also likes Ashcraft’s for the same reasons. Ashcraft is in a tough spot with Hopkins, Allen, and Walters potentially ahead of him on the depth chart but I expect him to break out at some point. Along with good feet, Ashcraft has a road grader’s mentality.
Kenny Vaccaro: I know he’s logged some quality snaps, but I still need to see more to formulate an idea. He’s going to have to learn to play with control while not losing the viciousness that he’s known and lauded for. He definitely looks like an NFL special teamer right now.
Carrington Byndom and Adrian Phillips: The fact that they’re going to be starting so soon tells you all you need to know about their talent level, and how thin we are at corner. Both have the athletic ability and mental aptitude to be succesful, but seeing is believing.
Quandre Diggs: It’s way too soon to make a call here, but how can you bet against this guy’s bloodlines, leadership ability, and athleticism? He’s the ultimate gamer packaged in a powerful compact and explosive build. I’ve likened him to Javier Arenas because of his stature and special teams capabilities but I think Diggs has superior ball skills.
Did I forget anyone? Who am I way off on?