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NFL draft buzz already begun on Wazzu's Luke Falk, Cody O’Connell; Rob Rang offers his take to CF.C

THE NFL DRAFT is a couple weeks away, and the 2017 Cougars are but midway through spring ball -- but some are already thinking about how high Luke Falk and Cody O’Connell could go a year from now in the 2018 NFL draft. Case in point, one site has Falk and O’Connell as the Nos. 2 and 3 players available at their respective positions.

NFL Draft Scout pegs Falk as the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the draft behind Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph.

Meanwhile, O'Connell is third in the land behind Ohio State’s Billy Price and UCLA’s Scott Quessenberry.

Right tackle Cole Madison is the only other Cougar senior-to-be ranked in NFL Draft Scout’s top 25 for the '18 draft, as the No. 15 offensive tackle.

No juniors are listed in the rankings at this point, naturally, but it’s still a pretty good barometer of how highly Falk and O’Connell are regarded a little more than a year out.

Before the rankings came out, CF.C spoke to Rob Rang for his take on Falk and O’Connell.

“With Luke Falk, I like the accuracy, I really like the touch. The biggest question I’ve always had about Luke Falk is does he have the true velocity to make the sideline throws that are required in an NFL offense.  What’s interesting is I think he’s very effective throwing the deep ball,” said Rang.

Rang said Falk will have plenty of chances this season, and afterwards, to settle that issue in NFL scouts’ minds.

“I think it was a wise move for him to come back for his senior season and possibly go to a senior all-star game where they’re going to ask him to make those types of throws. And if he can do that, then I think we could be talking about a top 64 type of guy,” said Rang.

Rang said O’Connell is one many NFL teams are going to be watching closely this season.

“He’s the most intriguing offensive lineman I’ve seen at Washington State for quite some time,” said Rang. “He’s not like a lot of guys you see -- for a big man, he can move really well.

“I’m really intrigued by O’Connell. For a big man, he has very light feet. He plays with good balance. I do have the concerns that any time you have a player at that size, that height, they generally are vulnerable to bull rushing.  For a big man he does a pretty good job at that, but that would be the biggest concern I have. But in terms of light feet, he’s very impressive in that regard.”

This year’s NFL draft will be held April 27-29. Gabe Marks and Shalom Luani appear the likeliest draft picks out of Washington State. Others, such as River Cracraft, Riley Sorenson and others could also be drafted or snapped up as undrafted free agents in the hours after the draft ends.

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