Sooners draft preview

The NFL Draft is finally here, get the lowdown on what the three-day event should look like for OU.

There is one word, three letters that describes Oklahoma when it comes to the 2014 NFL Draft : A-C-L. It's possible the Sooners could have had a potential first-round selection Thursday night if not for that dreaded ACL.

The draft has been kind to the Sooners as has the tally at 363 OU players having been selected for the draft. Forty-three of those happened in the first round.

No. 44 could have been cornerback Aaron Colvin. Despite battling nagging injuries throughout his senior season, Colvin was still solid on the field and an unquestioned leader off of it.

Colvin was on pace, according to most experts, to be a first or second round selection when he tore his ACL during Senior Bowl practice week in January.

That shouldn't keep him from getting drafted, though. Anywhere from the third round to the fifth round seems very reasonable for the former Owasso (Okla.) High star.

ACL is also the word du jour when it comes to Trey Millard. It has been more than six months since Millard tore his ACL on special teams. He's on a strong road to recovery, but there's no question the injury set him back in the draft circles.

Fullbacks don't get drafted too often to start with, but it's going to be incredibly tough to discredit what Millard brings to the table. He is an accomplished blocker and receiver and can also handle the ball. A selection in the fourth round wouldn't seem too crazy.

Another top draft prospect for the Sooners is center Gabe Ikard. He can play center and offensive guard, but it's clear it looks like center is going to be his future destination.

Ikard had one of the more rare things hampering his draft stock – his education. Ikard is dead set on becoming a doctor once his playing days are over. But he needed to make it clear to all parties involved he wants to play in the NFL. Being a doctor can wait, and it should wait for Ikard who could go as early as the fifth round, according to some experts.

Question his size, but don't question the productivity of wide receiver Jalen Saunders. His 5-foot-8 frame is going to turn off some suitors, but his film and dynamic playmaking abilities should help him have his name called.

He became a nasty blocker under the tutelage of OU wide receivers coach Jay Norvell and seems perfect as a slot receiver. Knowing his size could be a detriment, there's also a strong possibility Saunders finds a home as a punt returner. Saunders took back two punts for touchdowns for OU last season.

After that quartet, it's sort of a crapshoot. The three-headed running back attack could hear their names called. Damien Williams was impressive at the NFL Combine, while Brennan Clay doesn't do anything outstanding but does everything well. The wild card is Roy Finch as some can easily see him as a Darren Sproles-like figure going forward.

Wide receivers LaColtan Bester and Jaz Reynolds could also be on the peripheral. It might not happen during the draft, but there's no question they should at least get a shot as a free agent to show what they can do.

The other defensive players that could make some noise are linebacker Corey Nelson and safety Gabe Lynn. Nelson is fully recovered from his torn pectoral muscle in October and said he feels better than ever.

Lynn doesn't appear to be somebody who will get selected but that seemed to work out OK for former OU star Tony Jefferson, who has made a home with the Arizona Cardinals after not hearing his name called last season.

The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday, followed by rounds two and three Friday and concluded with the final four rounds Saturday.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories