It’s week 12 of the MVP Draft! We’re down to the last two weeks of the inaugural season. Wow this year has gone by so fast. There’s no time to sit back and reminisce though. We’ve got a draft to win! In case you haven’t been following all season, here’s the rules:
Every week, each writer picks the player they think will be the MVP on offense, defense, and special teams for OSU and their opponent. If a player has the best game out of those chosen, the writer who picked him gets a point. We’ll keep track of the points through the season.
Before we get to the picks, let’s take a look at the leaderboard.
Cade - 32 points
Dustin - 31 points
Phillip - 31 points
Christopher/Kyle - 27 points
Joel - 26 points
With only two drafts left, it really is anyone’s game! There are only six points separating first from last place, and there’s a real log jam at the top. So without further adieu, to the picks!
O - James Washington | D - Chad Whitener | ST - Ben Grogan
Offense: I’m reaaaaaally tempted to go with Rudolph here, because I think he is going to spread the ball around a lot. I just think the with OU’s secondary as bad as it has been, Washington is going to get open for a couple of big plays. Those could be the deciding factors in this game.
Defense: I think the trick to beating OU is to try and shut down the run game. With the two headed monster of Perine and Mixon, that’s going to be tough to do. I think Whitener is going to get plenty of opportunities for tackles here. I hope I’m right.
Special Teams: I’m going against my usual Sinor pick, because I think this game is going to come down to making field goals at the end (I think it’s going to be a close game). I’m putting my money on Grogan in the moment. Yes he occasionally misses field goals. However, they tend to come more often when the game isn’t on the line. When it is, he’s pretty dang good.
O - Joe Mixon | D - Jordan Evans | ST - Austin Siebert
Offense: I’m not going Mayfield here, because I legitemately believe OSU is the best team the Sooners have faced since week 3 against Ohio State. Mayfield threw two picks in that game. I’m going with Mixon, who has more carries and more yards than Perine. The two are dangerous, but it’s Mixon that scares me more. Especially against our (suspect) run defense.
Defense: Evans leads the team in total tackles (81), solo tackles (44), and interceptions (4). He likely to be the guy on Washington. I think the President is going to give him fits, but Evans will still likely get his tackles.
Special Teams: Seibert does everything for the Sooners; kickoffs, punts, and field goals. He’s the obvious choice.
O - Mason Rudolph | D - Ramon Richards | ST - Ben Grogan
Offense: Mason Rudolph seems to be the obvious pick for me, even though I 100 percent agree with Christopher’s logic. While taking the weather into account, one must remember that historically, Rudolph hasn’t had trouble with the elements. You don’t have to look farther than this same game two years ago. I think this game will hinge on which quarterback makes the most plays, and because of the fact that both quarterbacks are incredible, I’ll take Rudolph.
Defense: Ramon Richards is one of those guys that I think can play out of his mind when his back is against the wall. Dede Westbrook threw some ultimate shade at him, and for a guy who clearly values motivation, I expect a lot of it from Richards on Saturday. If Westbrook catches fewer than five passes, I’ll consider it a win.
Special Teams: How could you not pick the guy who hit the game winning field goal in Norman two years ago? Give me The Groags.
O - Baker Mayfield | D - Jordan Evans | ST - Austin Siebert
Offense: Because I think this game turns into a shootout, I’ll take Mayfield [vomits]. If he is able to make plays with his legs, I think it could turn into a long afternoon for the OSU secondary.
Defense: I’m picking Jordan Evans because when fully healthy, he’s the leader of the Oklahoma defense. There’s a good chance he will be playing banged up, as he left the West Virginia game with an injury and did not return. This pick is based on the assumption that he will be playing and is fully healthy.
Special Teams: Please ... let me be wrong here. This game may very well come down to one or two field goals, and Siebert needs to miss a couple.
O - Mason Rudolph | D - Vincent Taylor | ST - Ben Grogan
Offense: I wrote about OU's pass defense earlier this week. They have been bad this year, like worst pass defense in OU history bad. They aren't the worst in the Big 12 due to Texas Tech maybe having the worst pass defense of all time this season, but stats aside, Mason should have a huge day against the Sooners.
Defense: OU's offense is powerful. Vincent Taylor will need to play a huge role in stopping the run, getting to Mayfield and forcing turnovers. He's shown he can do it all season, and I think he can show up big this weekend in Norman.
Special Teams: I think this will be a high scoring game. Look for Grogan to have multiple extra points and maybe a field goal or two.
O - Baker Mayfield | D - Ogbonnia Okoronkwo | ST - Austin Seibert
Offense: So, it was really hard for me to pick this guy...
But, it was between him and Dede Westbrook. They are both great players, but after Westbook's tweet from earlier this week:
I just couldn't bring myself to pick him. So, I'm going with Mayfield. With his ability to make plays with his arm and legs, I think he's the best pick for the Sooner offense.
Defense: The team leader in sack's with 7 on the season will be trying to disrupt Mason Rudolph and the Cowboy offense at all times on Saturday. I expect the Sooners to bring some pressure early to try and get Mason off his game and out of rhythm. I could see Okoronkwo, a former OSU recruit, playing a key role in the OU defensive game plan.
Special Teams: He kicks off, kicks field goals and punts. He literally is the special teams. If he doesn't get the point this week, then this thing is rigged.
O - Chris Carson | D - Jordan Sterns | S - Zach Sinor
Offense: Road Rudolph is, unfortunately, more than just alliteratively convenient. It will be a hostile environment Saturday morning, and the weather could be hostile as well. Combine all of those factors with the improvements we've seen in the running game, and I'm going with a RB, it's just a matter of which one. Hill is more talented and much more of a home run threat, but Carson is a man on a mission and I think his style lends to more carries in short yardage and goal line situations. The way he's ran lately, it's hard to see him not converting on his fair share of those opportunities.
Defense: I am a sucker for prolific tacklers. I also happen to be a huge fan of Jordan Sterns and it's going to be a little bittersweet to watch him play his last regular season game as a Cowboy. Here's hoping he punctuates his Bedlam career in a spectacular fashion. There is no Cowboy I'd rather see have a standout performance this week than Sterns, so of course I have to bet on him.
Special Teams: The conditions might not be ideal for Grogan on Saturday, so I'm going with Sinor to pin the Sooners deep and put the OSU defense in the best position possible throughout this game. He's had a tremendous season that's somehow been completely unheralded nationally, and I expect to have a few more "man, I'm glad we have him" moments on Saturday.
O - Dede Westbrook | D - Ogbonnia Okoronkwo | S - Dede Westbrook
Offense: If the weather was ideal, I honestly think Dede Westbrook could do just about whatever he wanted on the field on Saturday. The Ramon Richards Island thing was cute and all, but it's really more of an all-inclusive resort destination for WRs than anything else. The weather may slow Westbrook down, and I honestly think Joe Mixon is more likely to be the difference maker, but I absolutely refuse to choose Joe Mixon. So Dede it is.
Defense: Jordan Evans is the leader of this defense and if he's playing and playing at full speed, he'll probably outperform Okoronkwo and every other Sooner defender. But there's a distinct possibility he won't be at full speed. Okoronkwo leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss and is third in total tackles. If Evans is out or limited, he could be the guy who picks up the slack.
Special Teams: I don't trust Siebert, who has made only 71.4% of his FGs and has a long of only 39 yards. Add in the potentially NOT great field conditions, and I'm not taking the Sooner kicker. Mixon makes more noise on special teams than Westbrook, but, again, I would rather lose a point than choose Joe Mixon, so I'm going with a double dip of Westbrook, who is more than capable as a return man.
O - James Washington | D - Vincent Taylor | S - Zach Sinor
Offense: OU's pass defense has been horrendous this year, and on multiple occasions they have proven to not be able to defend the deep ball. Enter James Washington, who is one of the best deep ball threats in the nation. He'll probably have two guys on him most of the game, but he'll find a way to get behind the defense multiple times and get a couple scores.
Defense: Taylor will be a force in this game, and he will continue his case of Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He'll need to make some big steps like he did against K State to keep OSU in the track meet.
Special Teams: Sinor for Heisman...enough said.
O: Dede Westbrook | D - Ogbonnia Okoronkwo | S - Austin Siebert
Offense: Westbrook is one of the best receivers in the nation, his over 1700 yards receiving proves that. The OSU secondary has played well as of late, but is still suspect at times. Westbrook will get open down the field a couple of times just like Washington will for the Pokes.
Defense: Okoronkwo has been a main stay for the Sooner defense all season. With 85 tackles on the season, and averaging 8.5 per game, we'll hear his name quite a bit on Saturday.
Special Teams: The usual here, the kicker. Moving on...