clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

OSU in the NFL: 2021 Draft recap

Full analysis of where each Cowboy went and what their situation will be.

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Another NFL Draft has come and gone and Oklahoma State has four new draftees entering the league with several more signing UDFA contracts. Each player is entering a new and unique situation that will shape their pro careers. With that being said, the depth chart per position per team for each of OSU new draftees could have a significant impact on how much each player might see the field next season. Let’s look at each situation

Teven Jenkins, Chicago Bears (2, 39)

Coach Gundy had high praise for the Chicago Bears selection of Teven Jenkins at No. 39 overall. The Bears decided to go with highly regarded Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in round one so following that pick up with offensive line protection for the new face-of-the-franchise was a good move.

The Bears offensive line play struggled in 2020 according to BearReport.com, Chicago’s 247sports website, and addressed those needs in the draft by moving up to select Jenkins in round two and selecting Missouri offensive tackle Larry Borom in the fifth round. ESPN has already slotted Jenkins into the starting left tackle spot and that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. That same depth chart projection is a fairly conservative one as well; it has Fields as the second-string quarterback behind Andy Dalton.

Jenkins should see plenty of playing time and a starting role for most or all of 2021 for a Chicago offensive line that struggled a season ago. Of note, former Cowboy Arlington Hambright also plays for the Bears and is listed by ESPN as a third-string left guard. Hambright was drafted by the Bears in the seventh round of the 2020 draft out of Colorado, where he grad-transferred to after two years in Stillwater.

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (4, 126)

The Carolina Panthers got an absolute steal by taking Chuba Hubbard in the fourth round. Carolina is losing three of its top-four rushers from 2020 and Hubbard will compete for snaps immediately.

Of course, the Panthers have a MVP-candidate running back in Christian McCaffrey, who had a down year in 2020 after being hampered by injuries. Because of that, the Panthers leading rusher was Mike Davis, who signed with Atlanta in the offseason. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater finished third on the team in rushing yards and wide receiver Curtis Samuel finished fourth; both are gone as well. That leaves McCaffrey and fifth-leading rusher Rodney Smith as the only returning Carolina rushers who had more than 15 attempts last season.

That means it is pretty much just Smith and Hubbard competing for the backup snaps at the moment. Hubbard was one of the most impressive backs in the nation in 2019, finishing eighth in Heisman Trophy voting and leading the nation in rushing yards. Stillwater’s favorite Canadian (well, maybe — Amen was pretty cool, too) couldn’t have landed in a much better situation than Carolina, especially with Matt Rhule at head coach. It should be exciting to see how the Panthers utilize Hubbard.

Tylan Wallace, Baltimore Ravens (4, 131)

Just a few picks after Hubbard went off the board, so too did explosive receiver Tylan Wallace to the Baltimore Ravens. While Hubbard is joining a running back room in Carolina that could use some replenishing, Wallace’s situation is a bit more complex.

The Ravens selected Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman in round one after selecting a number of talented wide outs in recent years. Baltimore selected Oklahoma wide out Marquise Brown in the second round of the 2019 draft and followed it up with Texas wide out Devin Duvernay in round three and SMU speedster James Proche in round six, both in 2020. Add in Bateman and Wallace to a team that already employs Sammy Watkins and it is easy to see the Ravens have no true No. 1 receiver — but no shortage of promising young talent either.

Watkins is new to the group and Brown is the No. 1 receiver on the team, catching 58 passes last season. That was tied for first on the team with former Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews. Willie Snead — now with Las Vegas — was third on the team, followed by Duvernay and the returning Miles Boykin. With all that depth, ESPN has Wallace listed as a third-string receiver. It would be smart for the Ravens to get him some snaps, but Wallace’s opportunities might not come as fast as Hubbard’s.

Although the team’s passing game is dominated by a pair of Sooners, a pair of former Cowboys — Dez Bryant and Justice Hill — caught a few passes for Baltimore last year as well. Bryant was with the Ravens for just part of last season and hopefully Wallace will be a successful Raven for a long time to come.

Rodarius Williams, New York Giants (6, 201)

The New York Giants selected Rodarius Williams two picks behind where Tom Brady was selected in 200— wait, what do you mean that’s not a good comparison?

All jokes aside, Williams should have the opportunity to make an impact in New York, even if it isn’t on defense right away. With his speed, Williams could absolutely make an impact on special teams early on while trying to earn playing time on defense. The Giants decided to select another cornerback — Central Florida’s Aaron Robinson — in round three; Robinson currently slots in as a third-stringer.

ESPN lists Williams as a fourth-stringer, and it will be tough for him to see much playing time early on, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get on the field. His senior year coverage performance may help earn him some early looks if he plays well in training camp, but don’t expect to see him on defense right away.

Undrafted Free Agents

Though any normal playing time is totally un-guaranteed, undrafted free agents can become integral parts of teams that choose to sign them. OSU had several UDFA’s in this years’ draft class and their situations will be evaluated on current depth chart with a big focus on other players drafted or signed at the same position.

Calvin Bundage, Pittsburgh Steelers

The OSU-to-Pittsburgh pipeline continues! Hopefully Bundage will get to join former teammates Mason Rudolph and James Washington in Pittsburgh full time.

Pittsburgh utilizes a 3-4 linebacker-heavy scheme that should give Bundage a decent chance to make the roster. ESPN already has him slotted in as a third-stringer, on par with Wallace in Baltimore. The Steelers selected two other linebackers in this draft as well — Buddy Johnson from Texas A&M in round four and Miami’s Quincy Roche in round six. Both are currently slotted as second-stringers.

Bundage is currently behind All-Pro starter T.J. Watt and Cassius Marsh at the weak-side linebacker spot. It won’t necessarily be easy, but Bundage should have a solid chance at making the roster in a linebacker-heavy scheme.

Amen Ogbongbemiga, Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles will give Amen Ogbongbemiga his first shot, but it won’t be his last shot no matter what.

Ogbongbemiga agreed to terms with the Chargers but if things don’t work out, Stillwater’s other favorite Canadian will have the option to play with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL after he was selected eighth overall in the CFL Draft.

But first — an analysis of the Chargers! The superior Los Angeles franchise (in my opinion at least, I mean they have Tyron Johnson too) selected two linebackers in the 2021 draft. First was Duke’s Chris Rumph II in round four followed by Nick Niemann from Iowa in round six — pretty similar to the Steelers.

Ogbongbemiga isn’t currently listed on ESPN’s depth chart for the Chargers. Like Pittsburgh, the Bolts run a 3-4 linebacker-heavy defense; but unlike Pittsburgh, LA isn’t as thin on linebacker depth. Rumph slots in as a second-stringer and Niemann a third-stringer. The Chargers currently have just two weak-side linebackers, but that position is better-suited for nimble, quick players such as Bundage.

Ogbongbemiga should definitely get some looks in camp for the Chargers and Calgary in Amen’s native Canada is always an option if it doesn’t work out.

Dillon Stoner, Las Vegas Raiders

Dah Ray-Dahs! After going undrafted, Dillon Stoner shocked everyone by not signing with the Patriots and instead signed with the Las Vegas Raiders.

This is an excellent decision by Stoner on multiple levels. Firstly, the Raiders did not draft a single wide receiver despite losing its top non-tight end receiving target in Nelson Agholor. The leading receiver last season was tight end Darren Waller, the Raiders only 1,000-yard receiver last season. With Agholor leaving, the leading returning true receiver is former Clemson standout Hunter Renfrow, who, at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds, is very similar in size to Stoner.

Other than Renfrow, the Raiders employ 2020 first rounder and former Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs III to form a solid young one-two punch with Renfrow. The third starting receiver is Bryan Edwards, who caught just 11 passes last season. That’s followed by John Brown — 33 catches last year for Buffalo — and the aforementioned Willie Snead who had 33 catches for Baltimore. Other receivers on the depth chart include Zay Jones, Keelan Doss and former Cowboy Marcell Ateman.

With a hodge podge mix of young talent and veteran middle-of-the-pack wide receivers, the depth chart would suggest Stoner could have a good chance to play his way onto this roster, especially because the Raiders did not draft any receivers this year.

Cameron Murray, Arizona Cardinals

To round out the Oklahoma State UDFA signings, we have Cameron Murray heading to Arizona.

Arizona drafted no defensive tackles and just one defensive lineman — Duke’s Victor Dimukeje in round six — who currently slots in as a third-stringer. The Cardinals also run a 3-4 defense, so this means less spots on the defensive line. Arizona is currently four-deep on defensive ends at each side and has just two nose tackles, presumably what Murray will play in the desert.

The roster would suggest Murray may have a chance if Arizona determines it needs three nose tackles, but they may pass on that with 10 defensive lineman currently on the roster for three spots. Still, anything can happen in training camp and Murray could have a chance to earn a spot if he impresses.

Regardless of how much playing time or if these players make the final 53-man roster, it is a dream just to make it to this point. Wishing all the best for each of these pro Cowboys as they embark on their NFL careers!