2016 NFL Draft: Russell Athletic Bowl
Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
#75 DT Andrew Billings (6’1 | 310 | 5.04)
A little shorter than ideal for an interior D-lineman, but has been one of the most disruptive DTs in the country and should be tested today against Carolina’s Landon Turner. Billings has an explosive burst off the ball, uses his hands well to shed O-linemen, has the strength to hold his ground against double teams, and has enough quickness to make plays in the backfield with 15.5 TFLs and 5.5 sacks this season.
Projection: 1st round
* Junior WR Corey Coleman, a projected 1st-2nd round pick, who leads the nation with 20 receiving TDs will miss the game due to a sports hernia.
#2 T Spencer Drango (6’6 | 320 | 5.14)
Might have been a top 15 pick had Drango declared for the draft last season, but his stock has slipped some this year due mainly to a track record of tackles from spread offenses struggling at the next level. Drango still has the quick feet, long arms, smooth kick-slide, and intelligence that made him a potential top tackle last year, but may move inside to guard at the next level. I think he’s talented enough to warrant at least a shot at tackle in the NFL, but it will depend what type of scheme he ends up in. It may take Drango a year to transition from a spread offense, but he has very few holes in his game and should be a starter in the NFL at whatever position he ends up.
Projection: 2nd round
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
#58 DE Shawn Oakman (6’8 | 276 | 4.88)
Like Drango, Oakman would have been a first round lock had he come out after his 2014 season (19.5 TFLs, 11 sacks), but he hasn’t been as dominant this year (14.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks). Looking at Oakman, it’s hard to figure out why he wasn’t more productive this season as he has the strength to overpower most tackles, long arms to disengage from blocks, and enough agility to cover in the flat if needed. If you’ve seen any of his YouTube videos, you know he’s an elite athlete and should make an ideal 3-4 DE in the NFL once his skill catches up with his unique athleticism. The only knocks I’ve heard on Oakman, besides his lack of sacks this year, are a high pad level (he’s 6’8!) and slow play recognition. Most projections I’ve seen have him in the 2nd or even 3rd round, but I think Oakman has too much potential to fall out of the first.
Projection: 1st-2nd round