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January 16, 2013

Shinn at 3 p.m.: Sooners draft options ranked

NORMAN — ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper weighed in on Oklahoma safety Tony Jefferson, quarterback Landry Jones, offensive tackle Lane Johnson and wide receiver Kenny Stills on Tuesday.

The draft is still four months away, but he currently sees Jefferson’s and Johnson’s stock as the highest. Jefferson is Kiper’s No. 3 safety available and has given him a second-round grade.

“I like the way he plays the game,” Kiper said. “He’s got real good  awareness and real good  instincts for the position. He’s been a playmaker his whole career.”

Johnson, who also has a second-round grade, has the best potential to rise through the process.

“You look at the left tackle position and you think about the second round, that’s where I see him coming off the board,” he said. “He’s gained a lot of momentum and will continue to gain momentum as he goes through the process.”

As far as Jones and Stills goes, the analyst isn’t high on either player. Kiper believes Stills could have elevated his stock by returning to OU for his senior season.

“He’s got all the skills and talent. He’s made some big plays, but he’s had some drops during his career,” he said. “I would’ve have liked to have seen him go back and round it off a little bit,   work on his consistency and maybe become a second-round pick, maybe a late one. I don’t see that happening right now. You never know after workouts, but right now I see the third round for him.”

As far as Jones goes, Kiper has him projected as a third- to fifth-round pick. Despite the 50 career starts, Jones has been too erratic throughout his career.

“You see some decision making, some inconsistency in terms of accuracy throwing the football. He just kind of leveled off,” Kiper said. “He might have played some better football earlier in his career than he did late at times.”

 

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