There’s speed, and then there’s Dede Westbrook speed. The ability to get behind defenses has the former Oklahoma receiver arriving at the next level.
The moment came for Westbrook when selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round with the 110th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft on Saturday.
After sitting out the NFL Combine two months ago, Westbrook put on a show at OU’s pro day, running a 4.34-second 40-yard dash.
It’s hard to fully articulate the type of season Westbrook had for the Sooners in 2016. After being held scoreless and being less than 100 percent with a hamstring injury the first three games of the season, Westbrook scored 17 touchdowns in the final 10 games.
He finished with 1,524 receiving yards and became OU’s first winner of the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver. He also finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
“He's almost always the fastest guy on the field, and his route running gets him open all over the place,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said. “He's got the ability to take the short routes all the way to the end zone once he makes the catch. And with his speed and ability to create in the open field, he's also a great asset in the return game.”
At times, it seemed like Westbrook could hardly comprehend what was happening 2016. He’d always say he’s just a country boy from Cameron, Texas, trying to live out his dream.
His dream was realized with the selection in the Draft. Westbrook’s lack of size was no doubt a deterrent for some teams and his off-the-field actions in the past might have caused teams to wait a little longer, but Westbrook is set.
Westbrook can also make an impact on special teams. It could take a while for Westbrook to fully find his role, but he’s got the talent to make a splash.