The NFL draft begins Thursday evening with the prime-time first round. Several North Texas high school players will be involved.
Allen graduate Cedric Ogbuehi (oh-Boo-e) was expected to be a first-round before a final year knee injury at Texas A&M. He likely still will be the top North Texan taken in the draft. The last player from a North Texas high school to be taken in the first round was just two years ago with Arlington’s Luke Joeckel taken No. 2 overall by Jacksonville out of Texas A&M in the 2013 draft.
Denton Ryan, which was ranked No. 1 in the state while they played, could lead the way with two draft picks. Defensive tackle Mario Edwards of Florida State (where his dad and former Ryan coach Mario Edwards Sr., former Dallas Cowboys player) and former Ryan receiver Bud Sasser, who is coming off a standout career at Missouri. Ryan’s teams of 2009-2011 under coach Joey Florence could add another draft pick next season after fullback Alex De La Torre finishes his career at Texas.
Some facts to remember about all the draft analysis coming our way when the NFL primetime draft begins Thursday night:
Why the 40-yard dash for timing increment: Tradition rather than analytics. Iconic coach Paul Brown started trend 50 years ago by timing players in the 40-yard dash to determine who would be best on punt coverage.
Arm length: Recent metric but not data to support. But the NFL grades you up if you have 34-inch or more length.
North Texas players graded as NFL prospects to be drafted or signed as free agents:
OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Allen Texas A&M (Cincinnati 1st)
DE Mario Edwards, Denton Ryan, Florida State (Oakland 2nd)
WR Ty Montgomery, St. Mark’s Stanford (Green Bay 3rd)
LB Paul Dawson, Skyline, TCU (Cincinnati 3rd)
OL Daryl Williams, Lake Dallas, Oklahoma (Carolina 4th)
QB Bryce Petty, Midlothian, Baylor (NY Jets 4th)
RB Jay Ajayi, Frisco Liberty, Boise State (Miami 5th)
DE Ryan Russell, Carrollton Creekview Purdue (Dallas 5th)
DBTevin Mitchel, Mansfield Legacy Arkansas (Washington 6th)
OL Tayo Fabuluje, Euless Trinity/Arl. Oak Ridge, TCU (Chicago 6th)
DB JaCorey Shepherd Mesquite Horn Kansas (Philadelphia 6th)
WR Bud Sasser, Denton Ryan, Missouri (St. Louis 6th)
RB Marcus Murphy, DeSoto, Missouri (New Orleans 7th)
WR Dezmin Lewis North Mesquite Central Arkansas (Buffalo 7th)
OL Adam Shead, Cedar Hill, Oklahoma
WR Jaxon Shipley, Coppell/Brownwood, Texas (FA Arizona)
WR John Harris Garland Naaman Forest, Texas
WR Ricky Collins, Tyler, Texas A&M Commerce
S Collin Brence, Plano, Baylor
WR Darius White, Fort Worth Dunbar, Missouri
DB Charles Cook, Parish Episcopal, Yale
WR Vernon Johnson, Brewer, Texas A&M Commerce
RB Joe Bergeron, North Mesquite Texas/A&M Commerce
A sample of how players get graded:
Texas Wide receiver Jaxon Shipley played his freshman year and sophomore year at Coppell before his dad, Bob Shipley, returned to small-town football at Brownwood. Shipley’s best 40 time is 4.49. Texas’ Pro Day Report: He had a 35-inch vertical jump and 10-foot broad jump. He did the 20-yard short shuttle in 4.4 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.93 seconds. He also performed 10 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Shipley is a very good receiver with very good hands.
Gil Brandt’s analysis is for the seventh-round selection or as a priority free-agent pickup for a team.