Oklahoma had a tough time containing Heisman Trophy finalist Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl this year, as well as the inability to put up points enough to hang close to the Texas A&M offense. While Manziel won't be leaving next year, two Oklahoma impact players have decided to leave school early for the 2013 NFL Draft.
According to Joe Schad via twitter, receiver Kenny Stills and safety Tony Jefferson have decided to leave Oklahoma early to enter the NFL Draft.
While neither player was a dominant playmaker this year on a good, not great Oklahoma team, both players have the skill set and upside to be worthy of Top two round selections, and with good post-season workouts, they certainly can get in that discussion.
Here's our Big 12 scout Alex Brown had to say on Receiver Kenny Stills
"After record setting senior Ryan Broyles went down with an ACL injury in 2011, Kenny Stills failed to establish himself as the primary option. Alligator-arming high throws in traffic and not putting forth his best efforts down the stretch as a sophomore, excitement was tempered entering this season. Stills, putting the late season struggles of 2011 behind him, stepped his game up to another level this season, by showcasing excellent route running technique and winning with separation at his breaks.
Very fluid and savvy off the line, Stills does a great job of attacking the leverage of the cornerback, using a variety of release techniques and changing speeds effectively in route to get the defender off-balanced. Whether or not Stills can be a number one option at the next level remains to be seen, but his catch point athleticism and fluidity is reminiscent of a young Brandon Lloyd and worthy of a late 2nd round pick (should he declare). "
Here's what Alex had to say about Safety Tony Jefferson:
"Oklahoma’s leading tackler on the season should be considered one of the top safeties in the country with his elite level versatility and ability to play at either the free or strong safety position. Though measuring less than 6’0 tall, Jefferson plays bigger than most safeties of such height, throwing all 200+ pounds of his frame at the ball carrier with surprising force. Occasionally reckless in his approach to supporting the run, Jefferson still does a good job of breaking down in space, centering up the ball carrier and driving through the tackle with his feet.
As a coverage player, his instincts and experience in deep coverage are readily apparent in the way he remains balanced, coordinated and in position to make a play when reading the route developments. Utilized much closer to the line of scrimmage in Brent Venables system as a robber zone defender and slot cover guy, Jefferson in 2012 has been tasked with even more coverage responsibility within Mike Stoops’ defensive scheme; putting together two seasons of tape at both safety positions and excelling either close to the line of scrimmage or in deeper coverage, expect Jefferson to be highly sought after should he declare for the draft as a first or second round choice."
With a receiver and safety class that features plenty of talent in the 2nd and 3rd round area, neither players are a lock to be Top 50 selections, and will have to prove themselves at the NFL Combine.