The next trip on our tour of 40 teams in 40 days focuses on the Oklahoma State Cowboys and which ones could be potential Buccaneers targets.
Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys are a perennial offensive powerhouse in the college football landscape, and this season was no different. Though they finished just third in the Big 12, they still had a 10-3 record and finished the season ranked 14th in the AP top 25 poll. Led by the explosive combo of quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington, the Cowboys put up loads of points and were one of the most exciting offenses to watch in all of college football.
Considering that the theme of this off-season is “defense”, Oklahoma State’s explosive offense surely means little to most Buccaneers fans. Unfortunately as is usually the case with Big 12 teams, the Cowboys are devoid of much defensive talent entering the draft, but there are a few exceptions. Let’s take a closer look at that, as well as the rest of the Cowboys that will be available in the draft.
Safety – Darius Curry
Quarterback – Mason Rudolph
Wide receiver – Marcell Ateman
Safety – Jerel Morrow
Cornerback – Adrian Baker
Safety – Ramon Richards
Linebacker – Gyasi Akem
Linebacker – Kirk Tucker
Wide receiver – Chris Lacy
Cornerback – Malik Kearse
Wide receiver – Cole McKnight
Wide receiver – James Washington
Safety – Tre Flowers
Linebacker – Chad Whitener
Tight end – Dawson Bassett
Offensive line – Larry Williams
Offensive line – Zachary Crabtree
Offensive line – Shane Richards
Defensive tackle – Ben Hughes
Offensive line – Brad Lundblade
Offensive line – Aaron Cochran
Defensive end – Tralund Webber
Defensive tackle – DeQuinton Osborne
Defensive end – Vili Levini
Senior to watch: Safety – Tre Flowers
In last year’s draft general manager Jason Licht managed to find a gem in safety Justin Evans, but they still need to secure a second safety to start opposite of him. The Oklahoma State Cowboys may offer that potential player in Tre Flowers, a big, athletic safety who played four seasons in Stillwater after a red-shirt freshman season. In his four seasons he racked up 284 tackles, four interceptions, twenty-five pass defenses, and four forced fumbles. He scored a touchdown off a blocked kick in which he received a lateral from his teammate and then scurried all the way down the field into the end zone.
Flowers is 6’3, 200 lbs, with 34 inch long arms: in other words, he’s tall, lanky, and an ideal image of a strong safety, which the Buccaneers happen to be looking for. Flowers participated in the East-West shrine game and drew attention to himself through those impressive measurables. For now his stock is in the mid to late rounds, but the combine is always big for guys that are relying partially on height/weight/speed to boost their stock, so keep a close eye on the big safety in Indianapolis next month.
Underclassmen to watch: None
Bonus senior to watch: Wide receiver – James Washington
Oklahoma State has exactly zero underclassmen entering this year’s draft, so it’s your lucky day: a bonus senior to watch!
Few players in this year’s draft class offer the explosiveness that Oklahoma State’s James Washington does. I remember being blown away by Washington when I first watched him play a few months ago, because he caught and scored on what seemed like every target sent his way. That’s an exaggeration, but you might not know it looking at his statistics – 74 catches, 1549 yards, and thirteen touchdowns. Those were career highs across the board for Washington, which is saying a lot because he put up tremendous numbers as a sophomore and junior as well.
Washington has the body and number of a running back but plays receiver, which makes his fit with the Bucs – who are loaded at receiver – a bit tricky. Still I think he could be a mid to late round project pick for the Bucs who should never quit looking for weapons to provide quarterback Jameis Winston. Though he didn’t do it much in college, I’m intrigued by Washington’s potential as a kick or punt returner, which the Buccaneers have obvious need for.
That’s our look at the Oklahoma State Cowboys’ contributions towards the NFL draft, and their lanky safety that the Buccaneers could potentially look at. Are there any other senior Cowboys that you could see the Bucs chasing? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to check back again tomorrow for a look at the Texas Longhorns.