We're less than 10 days away from the 2016 NFL Draft and there's only one Cowboy who is a virtual lock to hear his name called in Chicago. But is there anybody else we should keep an eye out for?
Of course there is. Kevin Peterson has faired well against big time receivers, while Jimmy Bean was part of the two-headed monster that was the Oklahoma State pass rush until a torn ACL caused him to miss the remainder of the year. And what about last year's leader of the OSU defense? Ryan Simmons was off to a hot start before tearing his MCL and PCL early in the season against Kansas State. All three of these players have NFL potential but there are plenty of other good defensive ends and linebackers that didn't tear ligaments in their knees. There are also plenty of bigger and stronger cornerbacks that didn't get lit up in the Sugar Bowl.
ILB Ryan Simmons
Oklahoma State may have beat Kansas State on October 3, but they lost the heart and soul of the defense in Simmons. Before the 2015-2016 started, Simmons was rated as the 33rd best inside linebacker by both NFLdraftscout and CBS Sports. After the injury, Simmons completely fell off the radar. It is likely that Simmons will not hear his name called in Chicago, but there is an outside chance that he could sign as a free agent. The 6-1, 240 pound Cibolo, Texas native had 96 tackles his junior year, including 13 at Baylor last season. Simmons finished his career with 189 career tackles.
CB Kevin Peterson
Outside of Ogbah, Peterson has the best chance out of the three to get drafted. Projected to go in the sixth or seventh round by many, Peterson has the toughness and speed to hang with the best, but his 5-10, 180 pound frame is his biggest concern. Peterson, a three-year starter at Oklahoma State and a first team All-Big 12 corner this past season, was the leader of the OSU secondary. A two star prospect and former Oklahoma commit, Peterson joins the ranks of Justin Gilbert, Markelle Martin, Perrish Cox and other stellar defensive backs from the Mike Gundy era. When Gilbert graduated to the NFL in 2013, Peterson was the No. 1 corner for the Pokes and was counted on to guard the opponent's best wide receiver.
In 2014, Peterson held future first round draft pick Kevin White to three receptions for 27 yards. In a losing effort, Peterson shut down Biletnikoff winner Corey Coleman on Nov. 21. However, Peterson has had some rough goes against the best college football had to offer. Although TCU receiver Josh Doctson only had six catches for 64 yards against Peterson, it was evident that Doctson was on track for a big game before an injury in the first half caused him to miss the rest of the season. Peterson then faced his final challenge on New Year's day in a blowout loss in the Sugar Bowl. The SEC's best receiver scored three touchdowns on the Big 12's best corner as Laquon Treadwell ended Peterson's career on a sour note.
Still, Peterson faced one of the three finalists for the Biletnikoff award in 2014 and then faced all three finalists in 2015. The corner is as battle tested as you could ask for at the collegiate level.
DE Jimmy Bean
During Oklahoma State's shootout win over Texas Tech on Oct. 31, Bean tore his ACL and effectively ended his college career. The 6-5, 250 pound defensive end was often overlooked by Ogbah, but when the two were healthy, there wasn't a better pass rush duo in the nation. Bean had 5.5 sacks in 2015 before the injury including 10.5 tackles for loss. Once Bean went down for the year, it became easier for opposing teams to focus on Ogbah without the threat of another elite pass rusher.
CBS Sports has Bean as the 36th best player at his position, which would almost guarantee him not being drafted. Still, nfl.com has Bean projected as a late seventh round pick or an undrafted free agent. All Bean needs is a shot in the NFL to prove that he belongs. It won't be easy, but Bean has the potential to be a solid pass rusher at the next level.
There is no question that Ogbah is going to be drafted; the only question is where he will go. Early on, it looked like Ogbah had top 10-15 potential. Now, he's looking like a late first round, early second round pick. One should keep an eye, though, on these three former Cowboys; they might just surprise you.