Friday, October 30, 2009

Draft Watch: Texas @ Oklahoma St.

10.31.09 @ 8:00 PM Eastern on ABC

1) Colt McCoy vs. Zac Robinson –
Even though he has led the ‘Horns to an undefeated record to this point, including a win over Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry and #3 BCS Ranking, it’s hard to say that McCoy has improved his draft stock this season. As a junior, McCoy threw for 3,859 yards and 34 touchdowns (eight interceptions) while completing a record 76.7 percent of his passes. This year the Longhorns’ signal caller is on pace for 3,096 yards (71.7 percent), 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions—that’s a significant dip in production any way you slice it. Even in victory McCoy failed to impress against the Sooners, and this week’s contest may his last chance to show scouts what he’s got before bowl season. On the other side, Robinson has been solid and while he isn’t putting up big numbers, he has played very smart football throwing 12 touchdown passes, just three interceptions and has been sacked only four times. What’s most impressive is in three Big XII games—without star wideout Dez Bryant—Robinson is averaging 252 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. A solid performance against the highly-touted ‘Horns could boost Robinson’s stock and if the Pokes pull off the upset, so much the better. While McCoy gets most of the attention, these quarterbacks are closer than most might think.

2) Russell Okung vs. Sergio Kindle – With so many top left tackle prospects having inconsistent senior seasons, Okung may have vaulted himself to the head of the class and has certainly helped himself as much as any senior. Some thought he might declare for the 2009 Draft following a solid junior campaign, but the left tackle appears to have made a wise decision to return to Stillwater. Okung has the size to protect the blind side, as well as the feet, having shutdown all opposing pass rushers to this point. This will be a big test for Kindle, who isn’t exploding as a senior the way former ‘Horn Brian Orakpo did last season. Kindle has seven tackles for a loss, but only two sacks. He is an athletic freak, but may be a bit overrated as a football player—he needs to show more if wants to cash in on that “first round talent”. Expect Okung to continue to handle his business and Kindle to come up empty against the Cowboys’ left tackle. You can be sure there will be a bevy of scouts spotlighting this one-on-one battle.

3) Jordan Shipley vs. Perrish Cox –
We likely will not see these two lined up across from each other as often as Okung and Kindle, but when they do lock horns, it will be an opportunity for each to make a statement. Shipley does his best work in the slot and is more quick than fast. That’s not to say he lacks the speed to hit the home run, because he is more than capable of making a big play either as a return man or receiver. Shipley has great hands, runs crisp routes and has an uncanny chemistry with his buddy and roommate McCoy. Cox is the Cowboys’ best defensive back and the Pokes will need him to make big plays this Saturday night. Cox has good size, speed and length, which is why he is a better fit doing his work on the outside. While he has only intercepted one pass, Cox has gotten has hands on 11 footballs this season and is someone opposing quarterbacks tend to avoid. Shipley is averaging over 15 yards per punt return with two touchdowns, while Cox is no slouch himself as a return man, averaging 11.2 yards on punt returns and 24.9 on kick returns.

Photos Courtesy of University of Texas Athletics, Oklahoma State Athletics Media Relation