One week after the "game of the century" in Tuscaloosa, attention now goes to the Big 12 where Oklahoma travels to play undefeated Baylor. The Sooners are a tradition power team and so the team is loaded with potential NFL talent. Baylor also boasts a few potential NFL stars who are fueling that teams' surprising rise this season.
Here are the players Redskins and Ravens fans should be watching.
WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Lamb is a high first-round talent who does not seem to generate as much buzz as you would think for a player of his caliber at his position. Lamb was overshadowed by Marquise Brown last year despite averaging more yards per catch and catching 11 touchdowns. His playing style is not flashy and he does not possess the type of breakaway speed that lends itself to big highlight plays, but he is a high-end NFL talent.
What Lamb does have is solid size and quickness. That combined with his precise routes allows him to still create separation. He is completely dependable without being flashy, the kind of guy who can always get open, make plays and move an offense.
After using a first-round draft pick on Lamb's teammate Brown last year, he is an unlikely target for the Ravens who are unlikely to use another first-round pick at the same position. Lamb could absolutely be a target for the Redskins, however, who need more weapons for quarterback Dwayne Haskins to play with.
ILB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
When you send Murray after the quarterback, he takes after him like he is shot out of a cannon. He has very good vision and is able to find holes in the blocking to chase down ball carriers. He is also great at keeping contain and forcing the ball to the outside or bringing down the ball-carrier whenever they try to cut back in. You almost never see him get caught over-pursuing.
When it comes to pass defense, Murray is average at best. His strengths are definitely on the blitz and in pursuit of the ball carrier. What I really like about him is that he is a very good tackler. In this day and age when everyone tries to lower the shoulder and no one wraps up, Murray stands out. If you are anywhere within arm's reach, he is going to bring you down.
The Redskins have so many holes on the roster, they should focus on taking the best available player. With Lamb likely to go in the mid to late first round, he will probably slip outside of Washington's draft window. He could be a real target for Baltimore, however, and a Ravens defense in need of inside linebackers.
C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
Humphrey's wrestling background is evident when you watch him play. Despite being 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, he always seems to gain good leverage when blocking and maintains his center of gravity. Run-blocking is his specialty as he loves to take it to the defense and you can often find him at the second and third levels of the field wreaking havoc with his blocks. His pass blocking is not as strong, but still very good and he never gives up on a play. He runs through the whistle each and every time he snaps the ball.
Get Humphrey in an NFL training camp and by the end of it he will be an upgrade at center over Chase Roullier.
WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
While Oklahoma has the Big 12's second-leading receiver in Lamb, Baylor has the conference's fourth-leading receiver with Denzel Mims. Mims has 44 catches in nine games and eight touchdowns.
As a former track and field athlete, speed is definitely Mims' strength. It's not just that he is fast, it's how he uses it. Mims' ability to change pace allows him to elude defenders as he slows down, then uses a burst to create separation. He is an average route runner so he relies on this technique a bit too much.
Mims projects to be a mid-round pick so definitely a possibility for either the Redskins or Ravens to bolster their passing offense.
DT Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
Last year, Gallimore looked like he could be an average NFL nose tackle. He could stuff up the middle and take blocks, but he was not going to contribute much else.
That is not the case this season.
Gallimore shed some fat and gained some muscle in the offseason and it is evident in his play. He suddenly is much quicker off the snap and does not just stuff up the middle anymore, he can penetrate. This is a much more versatile player than originally projected and would certainly be an asset in the middle of the defense which is a definite area of need for the Ravens.
Other potential NFL prospects to watch:
WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
TE Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma
RB JaMycal Hasty, Baylor
QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
RB Trey Sermon, Oklahoma
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