NORMAN — The NFL Draft begins in three weeks. One former Oklahoma player who has firmly solidified himself as a first-round pick is offensive tackle Lane Johnson. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., believes Johnson will go no later than No. 11 overall to the San Diego Chargers.
“I projected him to San Diego,” Kiper said Wednesday. “I can obviously see and I gave that scenario early on maybe he’s gone to Arizona at 7. There’s a chance, and somebody else could move up to get him. There’re some teams picking shortly thereafter from where San Diego is that could lose a left tackle like Lane Johnson that may be aggressive and move up to get him.”
As far as the rest of the Sooners’ going through the draft process, safety Tony Jefferson and quarterback Landry Jones are projected as third-round selections.
“It’s a deep safety crop. I think it’s not as great as some people made it out to be the way it has all shaken down late and as we move into April now,” Kiper said. “Some of these guys, Tony Jefferson, obviously, hasn’t achieved a high grade. I thought he could possibly when he came out early from Oklahoma.”
As far as Jones slipping to third round, some of it has to do with the way the four-year starter performed this season, but there’s another factor working against Jones.
“In terms of the whole situation with quarterbacks, the one thing that you have to always keep in mind, there are very few teams — I had to do this with the three-round projection yesterday. Very few teams are going to look at a quarterback early,” Kiper said. “The ones that need a quarterback, you know who they are, and you have to try to figure out, OK, who fits them the best and who could be in the mix.”
Wide receiver Kenny Stills is projected as third-round selection.