Texas Seniors Gearing Up for NFL Draft

Brian Orakpo (Texas Athletics)

The NFL Draft is just ten days away now (April 25-26) and several Longhorns are in a position to be selected. The Longhorns have had at least one player drafted in an NFL-record 71 consecutive drafts and that will continue this year. Burnt Orange Beat chatted with Scout.com NFL draft analyst Chris Stueber and got his perspective on the Longhorn prospects.

The Texas Longhorns will certainly extend the NFL-record 71 consecutive drafts where at least one Longhorn is drafted. Longhorn fans will not have to wait long as Brian Orakpo will likely be gone in the first ten picks.

Scout.com NFL draft analyst Chris Steuber said about senior defensive end Brian Orakpo, "I think he is in that 5-10 range. I've had him as high as five. I've had him at five (Cleveland). I've had him at six (Cincinnati). I've had him at nine (Green Bay). I think there is a chance for Orakpo to fall to ten for San Francisco."

Cincinnati is only one of those four teams that will play a 4-3 base this season. In the 3-4 scheme, Orakpo will be an outside linebacker. Orakpo is among a deep group of OLB/DE hybrid prospects.

"This year is all about the athlete and all about the hybrid. There are a lot of great D ends that could also play outside linebacker," Stueber added. "I think the linebacker position this year is very deep."

Stueber estimates that the difference in guaranteed money for Orakpo from the 5 and 10 spot in the draft is about $5 million.

Orakpo may be the only first day Longhorn as defensive tackle Roy Miller and receiver Quan Cosby are expected to be middle round selections.

"Both are mid-round guys. I'd say Miller is anywhere from 4-5th round and I can see Cosby in the same ballpark," said Stueber.

"Roy Miller is interesting. He is really rising a little bit right now. I think people are intrigued with his skills and his ability inside. He is a d-tackle in a 4-3 scheme and I think he is a rotation guy," Stueber said.

"If Cosby was three inches taller, I think we'd be talking about a third round pick. Somebody is going to take a chance on Cosby despite his age and despite his size. He is a prefect slot receiver – He's got great hands and good feet," added Stueber.

Two other Longhorns that have impressed pro scouts are defensive end Henry Melton and running back Chris Ogbannaya.

Stueber said, "He (Melton) is a guy that prior to the offseason workouts, I had thought would be undrafted player. But now with his workout, he showed his athleticism, he is now a fifth or sixth round guy. When you come from Texas, I think you always have some kind of pedigree. There is a lot more attention placed on you, so a guy like Melton, who has pretty good upside, I think he has really helped himself."

Stueber on Chris Ogbannaya said, "He (Ogbannaya) has helped himself a little bit. He's a draftable player. He has good size and his speed is okay. I think he has shown his versatility and he has shown that he can be drafted in the late rounds. He is a situational kind of guy. He is a guy who can come in there and move the chains a little bit on short yardage downs and even be a receiver out of the backfield. I don't think he is going to be a featured back by any means, but he can be a good second or third back on a team."

Defensive back Ryan Palmer and offensive lineman Cedric Dockery are both probably priority free agent prospects, according to Stueber.

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