The 2016 NFL Draft kicks off this week, and a relatively large graduating class – and a few underclassmen – have a chance to hear their name called this weekend.
The first round begins on Thursday with the second and third round scheduled for Friday. The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds will be Saturday. Over the next week, Sooners Illustrated looks at some highlights and possible destinations for some of the Sooners’ top players in this year’s draft.
Oklahoma has had 34 players drafted since 2010, which started with three Sooners being taken in the first four picks. Since the 2010 draft class, Oklahoma has had the same number of players drafted in the first two rounds in the last five years.
Time to break down Oklahoma’s 2016 hopefuls.
Defensive end Charles Tapper
Strengths: Tapper still has great athleticism for the position and the versatility to play on the edge in both a 3-4 and a 4-3 system in the NFL, although he’s more fitted for a 4-3. He has a high motor and is still very moldable. He’s still learning the game and has potential in that regard. His quick hands have helped early off the line, and Tapper has shown tenacity in pursuit of ball carriers or quarterbacks.
Weaknesses: He’s still very raw in the position and has never shown great ability to play from a good pad level nor use his legs and feet to make plays. While his hands are an asset, he tends to be slow off the ball and doesn’t change directions really well. Tapper has disappeared at times in his college career when facing elite talent.
Now Trending: If anything, Tapper is trending up. He was one of the stars at the NFL Scouting Combine and shocked a lot of people with his 4.59 40-yard dash speed. There’s always one thing you can’t teach: Speed. Some teams – not as many – will take a chance on Tapper because of his speed alone.
Closest NFL player comparison at best: Allen Bailey, Kansas City
Sooners’ Illustrated’s final, fun yet oddly exact NFL Draft prediction: Fourth round, New Orleans, 112nd overall