Originally Published: Jan 5, 2010 10:4 PM CDT
Zac Robinson didn’t waste much time in moving forward from a disappointing Cotton Bowl. The Robinson family tells me that Zac has already signed with agent David Dunn of Athlete’s First, that’s he’s already in California preparing for the NFL Combine, and that today he was invited and accepted to represent the South in the Senior Bowl. No athlete in any sport has been classier and a better example of how to do things right than Zac Robinson.
Speaking of the NFL Combine?.
Cornerback Dom Franks surprised his parents and OU coaches when he informed Bob Stoops that he is definitely leaving a season early for the NFL draft. Curious decision. Apparently his parents felt the same way—and more.
The wording in the release OU put out with the Franks’ decision was atypical—awkward: “We wish Dom all the best and I hope at some point that he’ll also be back to complete his degree,” Stoops said. Never ever read one of those statements where a coach spoke of hoping a player would come back and get his degree.
One camp says Franks was given a grade of “2,” saying it indicated he’d be drafted somewhere between pick 30-60. I don’t see that. I’d take OU’s other corner, senior Brian Jackson, ahead of Franks in a heartbeat.
My money is on what two insiders with direct knowledge of the process and a reliable NFL scout/source tell me. Each told me Franks was given a draft grade of “3-4 and can expect to go somewhere between mid third-round to the fourth round.”
Statistics show only 8 percent of the time does a player get drafted higher than he is graded, but that over 60 percent of the time the player is drafted later than graded. You’ve got to really want to leave school to go to the NFL as a fourth-round selection.
The departure of Franks will hurt the Sooners. Not fatally?but hurt nonetheless. No superstar, Franks started 27 games and had become reliable. Even though OU has several talented and athletic defensive backs who will step in, the loss of two quality corners would hurt any defense, much less one that is losing lots of talent.
OU has several options, but three come to mind immediately: Diminutive DeMontre Hurst, freshman star in the making; Jonathon Nelson, a solid junior who’s not been good enough yet to see considerable playing time yet; and soph Jamell Fleming. I wouldn’t expect any of that trio to be as good as Franks or Jackson were this season.
One reliable source says RB DeMarco Murray is the only other draft-eligible player with a grade as high as a 3-4. I sense it’s 50-50 on whether Murray returns. It baffles me how kids not going any higher than that would choose to leave school early. But I wouldn’t know. I had to flee to Canada to get a CFL paycheck for much less money than these guys will make if they just make a roster.
If OU gets out of this wait-and-see drama of seeing what underclassmen declare by losing just Franks, they will have come out OK. But I’d expected?and OU had hoped, that none of those players jettison early.